You are eager to leave the office knowing that you will be on vacation for the coming two weeks…
You set your “out of office” reply message, smile one big smile, turn off your computer and head out of the office…
You go spend the vacation of your life time…
…then reality hits you the day you come back to work and open your email inbox.
$#!BOOM*&@! A zillion email message!
Here are some simple steps that will allow you to tackle your emails without ruining the lovely vacation you just had!
1. BREATH: See how many emails you have. Breath, it’s okay, it will all be over soon.
2. SENDER: Sort your emails by sender, then delete unnecessary junk, advertisements, newsletters, etc. You will not have time to read them anymore. File any other emails that need to be kept for record.
3. CATEGORIZE: Make sure to categories any email that you open. Here are some categories that I suggest, you need to have your own system.
Using categorization will make it easier for you to start tackling your work once you finish reading your emails. A categorized email is an email that you need to do something with, everything else is filed or deleted.
4. FLAGGED: Search for any flagged emails, or any emails from an important sender. Read the email, then categorize it.
5. CONVERSATIONS: Now sort your emails by conversation, this will make it easy for you to track issues as opposed to just email messages. I suggest that you read the last message in the conversation starting from the beginning of the thread. Once done, categorize or file the last email and delete or file the others.
6. FILE: Directly file any email that doesn’t require your action.
7. MOST URGENT: Once you finish reading all your emails, start by doing the most important and most urgent tasks as you look at your categories.
8. LESS URGENT: After tackling the most urgent issues, you can move to the less urgent ones, and schedule others for the second day (if they can wait).
Someone might advise you to check your emails while on vacation, I suggest that if it is not mandatory as part of your job requirements, do not do it! Just enjoy your vacation, work can wait most of the times.
9. NEXT: Plan for your next vacation! Life is short, so you need to enjoy it to the max.
10. REMEMBER: You work to live and not live to work!