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Welcome to the HIVE4. On this episode we are talking email and hands down the most impactful and consistent business hack I use
I get somewhere between 200 and 300 emails a day better than half of it is crap. The remainder is mostly from companies that I have engaged to get blogs, updates, etc. Some of these include Tim Ferris, Seth Godin, Gary Vee, The MFCEO Project, Leverage and Michael Hyatt. I also get a ton of stuff from cool companies I like. The last and smallest bit is direct communication for works, kids, church, AA etc. I break the important emails down even further and, for me, they fall into 3 categories. 
  1. It doesn’t need to be dealt with
  2. It doesn’t need to be dealt with NOW
  3. It needs to be dealt with NOW
This is important to get – I have a clear hierarchy for emails that I don’t have to think about. You may want to have fewer or more categories and create rules for them but I think the aforementioned gives you a good start.
Next, each category elicits a specific Action:
  1. It doesn’t need to be dealt with – ARCHIVE OR DELETE
  2. It doesn’t need to be dealt with NOW – SCHEDULE IT
    1. Put the time to deal with it in my scheduler
    2. Use the email scheduler feature 
  3. It needs to be dealt with NOW and I can and will do it NOW – RESPOND AND ARCHIVE
The goal is to reach INBOX ZERO – I know some of you just looked at your phone and there is a 1572 in a red notifications box hovering over your mail client and this seems impossible. So how do you get to INBOX ZERO to start with – it depends
  1. Archive anything older than 90 days – trust me, if you haven’t used it by now, you are not going to and if you use the archive function instead of deleting it you will still be able to search for it.
  2. Flip through the last 90 days and see if there are groups of emails that you always want to deal with at the same time. I have all my blog articles hit my inbox Saturday morning and I read through them all at one 1 time per week. This will batch a bunch of the remainder for when you can regularly deal with them. Archive everything that fits this along the way and in the process solve for a bunch of email in the future. This is also a good time to unsubscribe from emails you don’t need or want.
    1. Setup a rule or
    2. Use the auto scheduling feature in your mail client
    3. Also consider just forwarding certain emails by rule to someone else to handle
Apply the specific actions of ARCHIVE, SCHEDULE or RESPOND to the remaining messages and you will be at INBOX ZERO. You will need to tweak your rules the first month or so – if you stick to it you will find that you are only dealing with the most important email when you check your inbox. In a later podcast we will be going over daily routines. With the system above most people will only need to check your messages a couple times a day.
If you want more information about INBOX Zero check out Ari Meisel from Leverage and Less Doing. He has a slightly different take on this and it works as well. I started with his plan and tweaked it to fit my needs. My invitation to you is to pick a way forward and stick with it for 30 days. Once you have it you can tweak it to suit your specific needs.

Check out this episode!