September 16, 2013

A Digital Habit Shift to Change Your Life.

Photo: Eve Wentworth on Pinterest.

Rainy days are perfect for cleansing your life.

Cleaning your house—your virtual house (do you really need 100 screen shots on your desktop?)—is key and as Tara Stiles says in a recent blog, it’s “getting rid of what squashes you.”

Photo: Jeanne Eisenhaure. (Me, before email rules.)

Tara gives helpful tips to free up space in your life and I wanted to share a time-saving and more importantly, a de-stressing habit that I’ve started incorporating into my life.

This is super simple and probably totally obvious, but using email rules and auto-filtering has done wonders for my sanity.

As someone in the marketing and business-consulting world, I receive hundreds of emails a day between the five email accounts I manage.

I was recently at a point where I was consistently missing emails from important clients. Many of the emails I was receiving are various newsletters, events, and other news-related updates.

I recently started using the rules feature (under mail preference in Mac Mail) to organize my emails.

Almost all non-urgent content is filtered into a “News to Review” folder that I review anywhere from once every few days to once a week.

It’s so simple, but I no-longer dread that I will lose important emails among the clutter.

The key to this system is ensuring that you create a habit for checking these folders on a timely basis.

A weekly calendar reminder can be a great way to cue this habit so you don’t miss important events and news. If you need help establishing habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

Interestingly enough, Google recognized that their users were in email overload and recently rolled out their new inbox, helping folks auto-organize these emails into  “primary, social, promotions, etc.”

Now as a marketer, I’m a little inclined to hate Gmail’s change, as it may mean that newsletters that I help my clients create are being auto-forwarded to the promotions tab. Side note: to get around this for quality content like the Elephant Journal Newsletter, make sure to move the newsletter to the primary tab.

This is such a simple habit shift, but I hope it will save you as much stress as it has me.

Photo: Jeanne Eisenhaure (…and after email rules!)

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Ed: Catherine Monkman

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