The amount of e-mails and text notifications we all receive has grown to an insane quantity. As an owner or leader in your company, your ability to communicate quickly and effectively will lead to profit and peace of mind. Still, it’s so hard managing the tonnage of information coming your way. I got asked twice this last month how, with 13 concepts and hundreds of employees, I handle all the notifications, e-mails, and texts. So this is a process I’ve seen work, and maybe it will work for you. You need this as much as solid recipe documentation and proper funding if you want to open on time, run efficiently and grow dependably.
First off, unsubscribe from everything that’s not worth your time. DO THAT TODAY. Go through your trash folder and unsubscribe there so those e-mails don’t come back. Block them if you can’t unsubscribe. Next, create new e-mail addresses to use as inboxes because they’re free or very cheap. Make a separate e-mail for personal, work, social media and e-mails you want to tend to later but don’t want out of an inbox.
On a smartphone, it’s easy to see all your e-mailboxes at once. However, on a computer, use something like mac mail or thunderbird; if you log into each individual e-mail on your browser, you are wasting time, making it hard to move individual e-mails between inboxes. This practice of multiple e-mail use is called sub-inboxing to triage your workload.
Try to get everything sent to you via e-mail. For all the apps, groups, messaging centers, etc., like Basecamp, Slack, HubSpot, ploppy plop, or any random notification boards you get roped into using, have them forward to your e-mail. This goes double for Facebook; it’s a time suck; avoid it. The goal is to avoid logging into each one and instead only see what you need to see on one portal, e-mail.
For all the text messages, Facebook messages, Instagram messages and WhatsApp messages, try and have them all in the same spot on your phone or, even better, on your desktop as an app because texting from a computer is a lot easier.
Additionally, take e-mails you can’t appropriately respond to yet and drag them to a sub-inbox to get to “inbox zero” of what you can control. You could flag e-mails or use certain mail apps with the option to “circle back”, but it’s easier to drag it into your later folder for stuff you can’t address today. The goal really should be for inbox zero every day. That’s not OCD talking; that’s what it takes to move the ball down the field daily.
If you are under water with e-mails, take 25 minutes uninterrupted, truly uninterrupted, to pound it out. You’ll be fascinated by how much you get through in 25 minutes. Once that timer goes off, see how much it has dwindled. I’ve seen what I get done in three hours become 25 minutes doing it this way.
This process isn’t magic, but it’s highly effective at getting rid of the fluff and getting work done, especially when you need to move on to more important things. I don’t know anyone who says, “I’m too organized.” Organization is not a gift; it’s a learned trait. The more responsive you are, the more those around you are responsive, and that’s how progress is achieved.
MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Instagram: @mikeybausch