Episode 80: Email Inbox Insights

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Email Inbox Insights

When you unpack your thoughts about your email inbox, what comes up? For most people, they don’t love how their inbox looks, but if you’re looking for a tactical strategy for reducing your stress around your email inbox, you’re in the right place. There are some best practices I always suggest to my clients when it comes to managing their email inboxes, and I’m bringing them to the podcast this week.

Just looking at your inbox can be really overwhelming, and there are some common mistakes a lot of people make. But when you follow my safeguards and processes for dealing with your inbox, as well as using the mindset shifts I’m sharing today, you can create a different experience of looking at your inbox.

Tune in this week for some valuable email inbox insights. I share practical strategies for making your inbox look how you want it to, the problem with working towards inbox zero, and I’m giving you tons of tips for keeping your inbox functional and organized in a way that works for you.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to get clear on your current thoughts about your inbox and what you want to change.
  • Why aiming for inbox zero might not be helping you.
  • How to decide what you want your email inbox to look like.
  • Why you always get to decide what you want your inbox to look like, for any reason you choose.
  • My best practices for handling your email inbox.
  • How to come up with a framework for maintaining an inbox that works for you.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 80. Today, we’re talking all about email inbox insights. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hey there, how are you? I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. I am so excited to talk about today’s topic. I talk a lot on the podcast about mindset, and we’re going to talk a little bit about that today, but this is going to be a really tactical episode.

I find that people get so much value out of the tactics that I teach when you’re just confused on the proper approach to take, and someone can just spell it out for you. It really does simplify your life. So, I’m going to do that on today’s episode.

We’re going to dive in and talk about some of the best practices that I suggest to my clients when it comes to their email. We’re going to talk about some of the mistakes that I see people make, how to safeguard against those mistakes, how to course correct if you’re making them, and a proper process to follow when it comes to dealing with your inbox. So, let’s dive in.

Actually, really quick, before we do that, I want to remind you, I’m going to say this at the end of the podcast as well, but I just want to remind you that I’m doing a giveaway this month. For anyone who leaves me a rating and review for the podcast on iTunes, you’re going to be entered into a giveaway. I’m going to give away five prizes to five different reviewers.

So, make sure you go do that; leave me a rating and a review. If you’re loving the podcast, tell me all the things you love about it. It means the world to me. It helps the podcast perform better, it helps me get this content in front of more people, and I want to help more lawyers live lives with less stress and far more fulfillment.

If you leave me a rating and review, it helps me achieve that goal. I want to thank you for your time, so that’s why I’m doing the giveaway. It ends at the end of the month, so make sure you get your reviews in before October 31st.

Without further ado, let’s talk about email. First of all, let’s just do a quick check in. What are your thoughts about email? Or your thoughts about your inbox? Are they positive or are they negative? Chances are, if you’re anything like my clients, you’re not thinking super positive thoughts about the number of emails that you receive, email in general, your inbox.

Are you thinking things like “I get too much email. I never know where to start when it comes to email. My inbox is never ending. I feel like I can never get to the bottom of it?” If you’re thinking those thoughts, you’re going to create a negative experience for yourself when it comes to how you interact with your inbox.

It’s going to be a source of overwhelm for you, not because email is inherently overwhelming, but because of the way that you’re choosing to think about it. So, you really want to check in with yourself here. What am I choosing to think about my inbox? What am I choosing to think about email?

Also, I want you to be thinking about, what’s my goal when it comes to email? I watch a lot of people focus on getting to inbox zero. And if that’s you, I’m not saying that there’s anything inherently wrong with that being your goal, but I really want you to check in with yourself. Why is that your goal? Why does that matter to you?

A lot of my perfectionists tell themselves they want to aim for inbox zero because it sounds good. It’s like this shiny gold star that is elusive and on the horizon, and they just want to keep reaching for it, but they can never quite get it in their grasp. Is that you?

You’ve got to check in with yourself here. Why do you want to aim for and strive for and work towards inbox zero? If you have a good reason for it, by all means aim for it. But if you’re just doing it because you think it’s what you “should” do, I just want to let you know it’s optional. That isn’t the gold standard. It’s not better than a different way of doing things. It’s just one thing to do.

Inbox zero is where you have nothing in your inbox. You either delete or file all of your emails that you’ve received. Now, much like a to-do list, my guess is you’re never actually going to get to inbox zero. And if you do get to it, it’s going to be fleeting because more emails are going to come in and then you’re going to have to process them.

So, what I like people to do, first and foremost, I want you to decide: Am I an inbox zero person? Is that what I’m striving for? Okay. And as part of that decision, you have to decide: What do I do with emails? If you’re an inbox zero person, they’re not just being read and staying in your inbox.

Now, quite frankly, that’s my preference. I don’t have the type of practice or business that requires me to file my emails, so I don’t file them. That’s my choice. I want to offer that as a choice that’s available to you.

If you work in a law firm setting, like when I used to work in big law, we did have to file our emails because they automatically deleted. So, if that’s you, you probably are going to strive for inbox zero, because you’re going to need to file those emails and save them to a particular client folder or a client matter.

So, you know what you’re working towards, you’re working towards a system of organization for your emails, so you know where those emails live, and you have a clear understanding of what goes where. It either relates to a client matter, or you might have a personal email file.

I had a personal email file on things that just related to maybe my Bar Association memberships, being licensed to the Michigan State Bar, things like that. That didn’t relate to any particular firm business, or any particular client matter. I had a file for that, where I could store things myself.

There might be newsletters that I would technically want to read, but I would never actually get around to it. But I had so much discomfort deleting that stuff that I would save it to a ‘read later’ folder.

So, you get to decide what you want your framework to be like. Do you want to be someone who saves things to folders? Or do you want to be someone who just lets things live in their inbox? Go ahead and decide that right now. Then make sure you really like your reasons for whatever it is you choose. All right?

Now, once you’ve made that decision, we can start to create a framework. I’m going to teach you my best practices for handling your email. One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients make is that they don’t factor time into their day for email. So, we need to start to do that. That’s a great place to start.

I want you to ask yourself, how much time do I spend on email? Email demands your time day in and day out. There’s some amount of time you devote to it. We want to know how much time that actually is. Is it one hour? Is it two hours? Sometimes it might be three hours or more.

It also might depend on what you have going on. If you’re working on a deal closing, you might be in your inbox all day long. You want to make sure you plan based on what your email is going to require of you. If your email on average requires two hours of your time, you’ve got to factor that into your daily plan.

I watch people day in, and day out, not factor it into their daily plan, which means at the end of the day, they end up feeling behind. Now why is that? Well, it’s because they planned eight hours of substantive work for an eight-hour day, and they didn’t afford any of the time that they were going to be spending in their inbox.

So, when they invariably spend two or three hours reading and responding to emails, they’re going to be that far behind whatever they planned to do for the day. Right? Because that time has to go somewhere. You can’t just fit three extra hours of emails into an eight-hour day when you’ve planned eight hours of work. Eleven hours will not fit into eight. It’s simple math. No matter how hard you try, I always remind people of this, you cannot fit 10 pounds of potatoes into a five-pound bag, it doesn’t work.

Which means, no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to fit 11 hours of work into eight. It just won’t work that way. So, if you frequently feel behind, I want you to start getting better at understanding how much time you want to, and need to, spend on email.

One of the ways you can get a better understanding of this is by doing a time audit. I have a specific episode all about time audits. But what you need to do in order to complete a time audit is to keep track of how you spend your time all day long, all 24 hours of it.

And if you’re trying to get an understanding specifically as it relates to email, how much time you spend on email, you want to keep track of that. So, for the next two weeks, do that. Keep track of how much time you devote to it each day. It may change day in and day out.

It’s probably not going to change all that much. It’s probably not going to be a significant difference day to day. But you’re going to be able to calculate an average, daily average email time. And then, you can build that time into your daily plan.

So, if you average two hours on email each day, and you want to… don’t go under average, go over average… if you’re at two hours and 15 minutes, give yourself two and a half. Or if you’re at two hours and 22 minutes, give yourself an hour and a half. Don’t go lower, go higher.

What this means, when you’re factoring this email time into your daily plan, you’re going to create email blocks in your daily plan. You’re going to take that average, and then you’re going to find that time in your daily plan and calendar it; time slots where you only do email. Yes, you heard me right, time where you only do email.

So many people don’t set aside a specific time block for email. They just end up in their inbox in between everything else they’re doing all day long. And they end up being what I like to call “half pregnant.” Splitting their time between the substantive projects that they’re working on, and reading and responding to the incoming correspondence that they get. If you’re guilty of doing this a you’re not alone, so many people are guilty of doing this.

But I want you to know, it makes you so inefficient you end up wasting so much of your own time reorienting yourself between the projects that you’re working on and your inbox, you constantly keep interrupting yourself. You keep distracting yourself with the messages that are coming in.

This is a perfect time for me to mention that notifications on your phone and your desktop should be off. You don’t need those little messages popping up in the corner of your screen telling you that you just got an email from so-and-so.

You also don’t need that little number on the top of the email icon on your phone. If you can move your email to a secondary screen, not your main screen, that’s a great way to get it out of sight, out of mind, so you’re not constantly being haunted by the little red notification icon that shows you you have mail.

You want to make sure you really eliminate all of the notifications that you can so you’re only seeing that you have mail when you go in to check to see if you have mail. It’s really going to dial down that desire to jump from what you’re doing and scratch that itch because you received a notification. If we eliminate the notification, we eliminate a lot of itch.

And as you start to decondition your desire to constantly be checking your email, it’s going to get easier and easier over time to not check it. We conditioned ourselves to want to check all the time, and we create this relief/reward system where our curiosity and our uncertainty about what’s in our inbox builds.

Then that grows higher and higher and higher and more uncomfortable, and we ultimately check it. We feel that sense of relief, and we create a sense of certainty because now we know what’s there, whether there’s something new there or not. We have certainty on what is there, and then we feel relieved.

And the cycle starts over again. We go back to doing what we were doing, the tension builds, the uncertainty builds, the curiosity builds, and then we check it again, and we get relief. So, we create this reward cycle for ourselves. By doing that we condition ourselves into this habit.

All that means is that you can decondition yourself out of this habit by going longer and longer and longer periods of time without checking. It may be uncomfortable, very uncomfortable in the beginning. But the longer you go and the more you practice not checking, the more tolerant you’ll get of that discomfort, and the less it will bother you.

Now, let’s get back to talking about email blocks. We don’t want to be in and out of your inbox all day long. It’s just not a productive, efficient way to work. Instead, we want to figure out how long you need each day for email. I just talked about that. You’re going to get that average, and then you want to factor those time blocks into your daily plan.

Part of this requires you to define what “responsive enough” means to you. You have to figure out what your comfort level is, as far as it comes to how quickly you want to respond. Most people are operating with “responsive enough” meaning “as soon as possible.”

Or they also do what a lot of my clients do, which is, they say, “Well, it depends on what the message is.” If your standard is “as soon as possible,” or “it depends on what the message is,” then you’re always going to need to be checking your inbox so you can respond as soon as possible, or so you can see what the message is in order to make the determination about how quickly you need to respond.

We don’t want you doing that. We can’t have it be the “it depends” standard. I know they teach that to you in law school, that “it depends” mindset, but it really doesn’t serve you when it comes to email. If you’ve got the “it depends” mindset, you’re always going to have to be in your inbox to make those real time determinations of, do I need to respond to this immediately or can it wait?

Then, once you know that it’s there, it’s going to be much harder to let it wait, because now it’s this open action item that you really want to tend to. So, you’ve got to define what “responsive enough” is for you. Does “responsive enough” mean you respond within eight hours? Same day? Twenty-four hours? Four hours?

There is no right or wrong answer. This is just the answer that feels right for you. But I want you to decide what it is. If your answer is ‘an hour,’ then it’s an hour. Now, I don’t recommend that. I think that’s a little too frequent. It really robs you of the ability to plan focused work time blocks throughout your day. You’re constantly going to be jumping back and forth between things that you haven’t finished and your inbox.

I really like people to think how long would you be willing to go in a client meeting without responding to email, because you have to be fully present in that client meeting. Is there ever a time where you meet with a client for let’s say, two or three hours? Maybe you’re preparing for something. Maybe it’s a really long call, a strategy session.

Maybe you’re in a deposition and you’re out of pocket for four hours or eight hours, right? If you’re in trial and you’re gone all day, then let that be your guide. Let that be your standard, at least as a starting point. You can work up to longer periods of time.

If you would be willing to spend four hours with a client, or four hours at a golf outing entertaining a client, or four hours at a three Martini lunch… if they still do those. I’m sure they do somewhere… But if you’re willing to devote that kind of uninterrupted present focused time, then that’s a good, standard little bright line rule that you can start to use for what does “responsive enough” mean to you.

Now, depending on what your comfort level is, you’ll come up with your answer. And then, I want you to start to arrange your time blocks in light of that answer. So, I typically suggest between two to four email blocks a day. And again, that’s going to depend on your comfort level.

If you have less of a tolerance for a longer period of time between responding, you’re going to have more time blocks for email on your schedule. If you have a higher tolerance, and you’re more comfortable with going a little bit longer without responding, you can get down to two time blocks a day, or even one time block a day.

I have someone on my email list; she is like my hero; I absolutely love it. When I send out emails to my list I get people’s auto-responders, so I receive your ‘out of office’ notifications. Because I have a lot of people on my email list, I get bombarded with a lot of ‘out of office’ messages all at once. Because at any given time, a certain percentage of my list is ‘out of office.’

There’s this one woman, and her ‘out of office’ isn’t actually an ‘out of office,’ it’s just her default response. Whenever she receives a message, she informs people that she only responds to email once a day. I absolutely love it.

She acknowledges that it might be unconventional, but that it’s the best way for her to serve her clients. And if they need something immediately, they’re welcome to call her but that she only checks and responds to email once a day. That’s just her process. I absolutely love that.

Now, you can tell she has a higher tolerance and a higher level of comfort with taking longer to respond. I’m sure she had to work up to that. But she did work up to that, and she’s just an example of what’s possible.

You have to figure out what your comfort level is. Do you want to respond once a day? Do you want to respond twice a day? Do you want to respond four times a day? It’s up to you, but you want to decide and pick a number and stick to it. We don’t make up a new decision day in day out. You’re going to decide this one time and you’re going to stick to it. You’re going to have a clear understanding of how much time you need to spend on email.

And then, you’re going to figure out, how do I want to break that up? So, let’s say you need to spend two hours a day on email. If you were going to have to email blocks, here’s the proposed schedule.

You start work at 9. You do email for an hour. From 10-12 you’ve got focused work time. From 12-1 you eat lunch. At one o’clock you’ve got a client call. At two o’clock you’ve got a client call. From 3-5 you’ve got another block of focused work. And then, from 5-6 you do another hour of email. At six o’clock you stop working. How fun is that? How orderly and clean and systematic is that?

Now, let’s say you want to do three time slots a day: same thing. Start work at 9am with an hour of email. Another focused work time block from 10-12. Have lunch from 12-12:30. Email for half an hour from 12:30-1. Client calls at one and two o’clock. Another chunk of focused work time from 3-5:30. And then, another block of email from 5:30-6.

Okay? That gets you those two hours of email. If you need more than two hours, you can make that last block of the day a little bit longer.

If you wanted four time blocks for email, if you don’t want to wait until after lunch for that second email block, your schedule could look something like this. Email from 9-10. Focused work time from 10-12. Email for 30 minutes, from 12-12:30. Lunch from 12:30-1. Client call at one o’clock. Client call at two o’clock. Email from 3-3:30. Focused work time from 3:30-5:30. And then, email for 30 more minutes, from 5:30-6.

You can go to my website and see the transcript, so these time blocks are really clear. You can see them in front of you. You can copy and paste them if you want. All right? That option’s available to you. Or you can just rewind to this part of the podcast, slow me down, because I talk a little fast, and take notes. Pause where you need to, to sketch this out.

But decide for yourself which of these options resonates with you the most. Pick one and try it. Try it for 30 days, and see what happens. See if it works for you. See what doesn’t work for you. Learn what needs to change, what works, what doesn’t. You’ll start to come up with a system that feels most aligned with the way you want to work.

The choice is really yours. There isn’t one right way to do this. I recommend two to four time blocks a day, simply because I’ve coached enough people on this, and I’ve found patterns for what my clients tend to prefer. They either want to do it twice a day, three times a day, or four times a day. Those are the common answers.

Again, like I said, if you’re checking every single hour, you can do that. You could have a 15 minute block of time for email at the start of every hour, or at the end of every hour. But that’s going to be really disruptive. So, I’d love for you to give the two, three, or four time block options a try before you go to that instead.

Now, like I said, this is going to depend on your discomfort tolerance. What that means, is that you should not be alarmed if doing this, sticking to this, and honoring this schedule, honoring these time blocks, is uncomfortable at first. It is likely to be uncomfortable.

You want to get very clear on how exactly it’s going to feel uncomfortable. Are you going to have to feel constrained? Are you going to have to feel guilty? Are you going to have to feel worried that you’re not getting back to people fast enough, that they’re going to be upset, that people might judge you?

Yeah, you’re going to have to feel that type of discomfort. It’s going to be fine. Trust me, “responsive enough” is what I just laid out for you. You don’t have to be responding as soon as possible, or within 15 minutes, that’s not necessary.

If you’re a junior and you’re working with someone, feel free to ask them what they expect as far as responsiveness, in order to get an idea. You don’t have to adhere to their expectation. You can make up your own mind on what you want your expectation to be for yourself. But it does help to get someone to think that through so that you have more aligned expectations, and that you’re more closely on the same page than if you hadn’t had the conversation.

Now, like I said, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. That’s because you’re probably used to responding to people immediately. So, waiting to respond during your scheduled email blocks is going to feel unfamiliar at first. But once you get used to it, I promise you really will love it.

And you’re going to love it because you’re going to be so much more productive, efficient, and effective. You’re going to better serve your clients because you’re going to get to the meat and potatoes work so much faster, with so much more consistency, so much more regularity, than you currently are.

If you are guilty of setting out an ambitious plan for the day, then getting into your inbox and the plan goes right out the window, and you don’t get to even the second thing on your to-do list that you planned to do, following this way of emailing, and handling your inbox and scheduling your time for email is going to be a game changer for you.

You’re going to actually be able to complete what you planned. Do you know how good that feels? You’re actually going to get to the end of your day and not feel behind. Number one, because you planned intentional time for email instead of pretending like email doesn’t exist. And then, double booking yourself between the substantive work and emailing, because you know you’re going to be spending time in your email.

And you don’t get stuck in your email because you know you’re going to check it later. You don’t have to respond right now. You’re going to get to it, you have time set aside for it.

So, you can stay focused on the task in front of you, and work methodically through your plan for the day getting your most important work done, while trusting that you’re also going to have time to read and respond to the messages that you receive. Because you’ve made it a part of your plan.

This is going to help you be so much more productive, so much more efficient. It’s going to make your work feel less frenzied, less chaotic, and it’s going to make work more enjoyable. Chaotic, frenzied work doesn’t feel fun, right? So, this is going to feel really intentional, really methodical, and much more enjoyable.

Now, we’ve got a system for how to schedule our email. You need to get clear on the time that it takes you to email each day, your average amount of time, and then you’ve got to schedule time blocks for email.

But you might be asking yourself, “Olivia, what the hell do I do during those time blocks? I get so overwhelmed with my inbox I don’t know where to start.” If that’s you, I’m going to give you the framework that I teach my clients.

It’s a process for processing your emails, all right? For working your way through your inbox. At the beginning of this episode, I asked you to decide: Am I an inbox zero girl or guy, or not? That answer is really important because it’s going to inform part of the process that I’m going to lay out for you.

But before we dive into this specific process, I just want to say, if you feel overwhelmed by your inbox, it is likely because you don’t have a plan for how to process it. That’s basically a great rule of thumb whenever you feel overwhelmed by something, you probably just haven’t taken the time to come up for a plan of how to process it, whatever the thing in front of you is.

First, in order to make our plan for processing email, we’ve got to make decisions. First decision, like I said a moment ago, is: Are we an inbox zero person? Are we doing that or are we not?

The second decision that I want you to make is: Where do we start when it comes to email? When you’re going to work your way through your inbox? Let’s say you have 100 unread emails, where are we starting? Are we starting with the one that was most recently received? Or are we going to first in time?

I watch people not decide between those two options, then they spin, and they never make up their mind, and they never work through their inbox because they’re confused about which approach they should take. Same thing with inbox zero, if you don’t know. Am I filing emails or am I letting them stay in my inbox? What is it that I need to do here?

So, make up your mind right now. Do you want it to be first in time, or do you want it to be most recently received? What do you want your starting point to be for processing email? Are we saving emails to files, or are we just letting things stay in our inbox unfiled, marked red?

Once you’ve made the decision, you’re going to go through your email during your scheduled time block; one by one, email by email. For each email you’re going to make a decision. You’ve got four options. Delete it. Second option, save it/no response required. If you’re not an inbox zero person and you’re letting things stay in your inbox, it would be marked read/no response required. Instead of save it, file it. Okay?

Option number one is delete it. Option number two is save it by filing no response required, or mark it read/no response required. And then, option three is respond to the email immediately. If a response is required that will take you less than five sentences to send. Again, if you’re following inbox zero, file email. If you’re not following inbox zero, just let it be there.

And then, option number four is a response is required, but it’s not a response that you can complete within five sentences. Five sentences are just my rule of thumb. You can pick your own rule of thumb. It might be 10 sentences, or it might be less than five minutes. Make up your mind about what you want your standard to be. If you can’t think of a good one, use my rule: Five sentences, or shorter.

Option number four, if the response is longer than five sentences, then you’re going to add responding to this email as a task to your to-do list. You’re going to add it onto your to-do list, and then you’re going to schedule the time that you’ll respond, on your calendar. Okay? Then you’re just going to let that stay in your inbox until you go back and complete it at the scheduled time. Then you would save it or mark it as read.

Those are only four options when it comes to email. It is no more complicated than that: delete it, file it, no response required. Let it live in your inbox/no response required, that’s the second option. Third option, respond immediately if you can respond in less than five sentences. Option number four, if it requires more than a five sentence response, add it to your to-do list.

And when you’re making your plan for the following day, schedule time when you will respond and put it on your calendar. That’s it. That’s the process that you need to follow to process your email inbox.

Now, that’s not what most people do when they dive into their inbox. They just start diving in headfirst with no rhyme or reason. They either hop around reading things and only responding to what they want to respond to. They don’t add things to their to-do list, so they lose sight of things. If it’s out of sight, out of mind, and you forget to respond.

Or you dive in, and you just start answering every single email, without regard for how long that task is going to take you. You end up getting bogged down by typing out very meaty responses, that you can’t ever get through all of the messages that you’ve received. You don’t process them, so you don’t know what’s there.

Then you’re seeing this higher number of unread emails because you’re getting stuck on a really meaty response, so you don’t know that out of the 100, maybe 70 are deletes, saves/no response required. Right? That means you would only have 30 to get through. Maybe 25 of the 30 are ones you can respond to immediately.

So, if you’re following my system, you’re going to get a much clearer understanding of what is actually in your inbox, what your inbox is going to require of you, how much time it’s going to take you, and what you have to do in response to the emails that you’ve received.

When you create this clarity, by following this process and making one of these four decisions, you’re going to feel like you have such a better handle on your workload. Rather than feeling overwhelmed and stressed out not knowing what’s in the 95 emails that you haven’t been able to read through yet, because you got bogged down responding to email number four out of 100. This process helps you avoid getting bogged down.

It’s also helpful to decide, for lengthy responses, whether you want to send a short message that confirms that you received the email and that you’re working on it. I watch a lot of people not make up their mind about this, as well. They’re half torn between, ‘do I want to be someone who responds and acknowledges receipt? Or do I want to just send my substantive response later?’

I encourage people to confirm receipt. I think it dials down your anxiety, your stress, and your overwhelm. It dials down your guilt. It makes it less likely that someone’s going to send a follow-up email checking in on the status of something if you’ve acknowledged that you’ve received it.

Most of my clients hate receiving those follow up emails, so if you hate receiving them, I encourage you to send a quick “Got it. Looking into this. I’ll get back to you. I’ll get back to you soon.” You don’t even have to commit yourself to a specific timeline if you don’t want. All right?

So, make that decision ahead of time, too. Just like you’re deciding ahead of time if you’re inbox zero or not, if you start first in time or most recently received, and then do you send confirmation of receipt ‘I’m working on it. I’ll get back to you.’

Making these decisions ahead of time makes it so that you’re not confused when you’re going through and processing your emails. That means you’re going to work with more ease. The more we dial down the confusion, the easier we make it to get our work done. Okay?

I promise you; your email inbox does not have to be the bane of your existence. But the only way that’s going to happen is if you make these decisions ahead of time, you come up with a process. I highly encourage you, don’t reinvent the wheel. Just adopt mine. The one I just gave you in this episode.

And then, once you make these decisions ahead of time and you’ve got a process, follow it. You won’t do this perfectly at first, that’s fine. That doesn’t mean you need to go recreate an entirely new process; you just need to practice sticking to the one that I just offered you. Okay?

Doing that day in day out, and getting 1% better every single day, is going to be a game changer for you. It is going to make it so much easier for you to manage the messages you receive. And that’s what I want for you. I want it to be easier for you to manage the messages, that you get to read them, to respond to them, and then to get on to the rest of your work.

Email doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you just have to change the way you think about it and then you’ve got to alter your approach to it. I hope what I gave you in this episode is super valuable. Go give it a try and see how it changes the way you work. It’s really going to make a big difference. I guarantee it.

All right, my friends. That’s what I’ve got for you this week.

Remember, like I said at the beginning of this episode, I’m doing the giveaway for ratings and reviews of the podcast. So, go do that. Go give it a rating and review. Tell me what you think. Tell me that you’re loving it. It tells me that it’s been helping you out, making your life less stressful and far more fulfilling. That’s what I’m aiming for. That’s what I hope to hear from you.

When you do that, when you give me a little bit of your valuable time by leaving me a rating and review, you get entered to win a giveaway. I’m going to pick five reviewers and give away five amazing prizes as a thank you, to extend my gratitude for you taking the time to do that. All right? Go ahead and get that done.

In the meantime, I hope you have a beautiful week. I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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