Do you want to know how I run two businesses and still have time for the things that are important to me? I hire great people and delegate to them. The most time-consuming task I delegate is my email.
My whole email system is based on three premises.
1. My assistant reviews my email.
When the emails come in, they get redirected to a box that I have renamed “xRedirected Inbox.” You can set this up as an automated process through Outlook, Google Mail, etc. It is “xRedirected Inbox” so I will have to scroll to get to it. It’s out of sight because of the alphabetical sorting of my folders. The beauty of this is that I can still access it if needed (e.g. when a client emails something while we are on the phone), but I don’t otherwise look at it. Instead my assistant review it every hour or so. She sorts and handles the emails that are about scheduling, sending copies documents and other things that she can handle which is more efficient and responsive for clients as well.
2. Projects get handled quickly.
Have you ever been copied on an email thread that didn’t require your immediate attention? I bet that makes up 90+% of your email. My assistant is great about coordinating with our team members to make sure that client matters are handled efficiently. By the time I would have checked my email, my team has already finished their part of the task at hand and I am ready to review and take more advanced action. The few emails that I need to know about before the end of the day get moved into an inbox that I review in real-time.
3. I get a daily briefing.
At the end of the day for any emails that didn’t require my immediate attention or that my assistant has not been able to handle, I get a simple briefing. I’ll look at that briefing at six, seven o’clock at night, and it takes me literally 15 minutes to review it at most. This is could be the distillation of what was 100-200 emails, but there are usually only 10-20 items in the briefing as everything else has been handled or consolidated in the briefing.
My email system allows me to use the time when I’m in the office to focus on my highest and best use areas. And when I’m away, I’m not worried about my email pinging and interrupting my business meeting, retreat or vacation. In fact I don’t even have notifications on because I know someone else is reviewing it. I instead just occasionally check the box where my assistant would move anything that’s crucial.
If you want to learn more ways you can build an authentic business, check out my video series Authentic Business: Retreat Edition.