Work Inbox – Approaching Zero

Friday was a turning point in my email.

I’d had enough, too many email sitting in the inbox. I mentioned back in February that I was aiming at Inbox Zero.

But for whatever reason, the motivation wasn’t there.

So Friday I must have been frustrated. While waiting on a few other things I delegated I went from

1745 -> 4 emails

I’ll sort them on Monday.

The keys to getting this done:

  • Ruthless Filing
  • Ruthless Deleting
  • Time (took about 4 hours around other things)
  • Scheduling follow up in calendar (and not leaving in the inbox)
  • creating categories/folders that make sense for work

However, now I feel as though I can maintain it.

The next challenge?

Gmail is sitting at 2445

Partly because I email myself “bits of information” I think will be useful someday.

We’ll see how long that takes. The blessing and the curse of gmail (versus corporate outlook) is good search and tagging. Getting to inbox zero is not as much of an issue.

However, I will feel like “things are sorted” which takes the worry off the mind.

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Feb 2010 – Aiming at Inbox Zero

February is the month I aim at Inbox Zero and changing some bad habits.

The main focus is on clearing the inbox of clutter, email should be one of:

  • Filed appropriately under project or category
  • Scheduled if action required by me
  • Delegated if possible
  • Deleted if not relevant

The two main offenders work email (871 ) and personal (1874)

Last week I took about 15 minutes a day for my work inbox and went from:

1158 -> 1095 -> 971 -> 871

Still a way off zero, but daily discipline is helping move to a clean inbox and focused mind.

The personal gmail account needs a lot of work, and as yet seems to grow by 1 or 2 a day.

Again there I plan 10-15 minutes a day to gradually improve the state of my inbox.

My commute time on the train is a fantastic opportunity to turn something I have to do, into more useful time. Although, this has impacted my reading time.

I’ll be posting a weekly progress on Friday’s to track how things are progressing.

What are you using or doing to manage your email?

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Results – A cleaner desk

A few weeks back I mentioned my new habit of 15 minutes cleaning the study.

I also applied this to a few other things with some great results.

Desk (cumulative effect of a few minutes a day)

Messy Desk - Starting Point

After a few minutes  a day

Improved ! but not finished

After a few tweaks, it’s looking better!

Much Better

Woohoo! It’s much better without the visual clutter. I still need to work on something for the stack of business cards under the monitor.

So, another place in the house which bothered me was my bedside table.

Bedside table (15 minutes in total)

Messy Side Table

Needs some work.

Nice - it's clean!

Clean and again visually appealing and clear.

It’s really a matter of focus and discipline to start.

I find that committing to something you can do, like 5 minutes cleaning my desk or paying one bill etc, allows you to start and get something done.

Often I found that once I started, I went past my 10 or 15 minute goal as I got into the groove when seeing or feeling some results.

So, what are you trying to fix 10 minutes at a time?

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5 reasons I chose the Results Coaching Course

I have finally made my decision to which coaching course I am doing.

Results Coaches

This decision did take a while to make, but considering I am paying the $4000 for it, it’s not something to jump into without some anaylsis.

I did explore three others providers:

  • The Coaching Institute
  • Life Coaching Academy
  • Life Coaching Institute of Australia

What made me choose “Results Coaches”?

  1. Course offering “fitted” with other information  I’ve read and found useful
  2. The CEO, David Rock, has written books, and I read and liked  “Quiet Leadership”, which is mentioned in the course outline
  3. Jennie, my point of contact was great support to answering questions, suuport and arranging for other students to talk to
  4. Course timing – Results fit into my timeframes and has the initial 3 days onsite component in Melbourne
  5. Pricing was good (not the cheapest, not the most expensive)

It starts next week on Thursday, really looking forward to it.


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How to change your habits – 15 minutes a day

My study has always been a mess for the last 4 years we’ve been in the house.

Today – I started a new habit.

15 minutes a day, for a week, I will spend tidying my study before I go to work in the morning.

I think it’s that simple, what do you want to fix, then do a small amount every day.

This morning, I grabbed a coffee, then started.

  • Shredded some things
  • Filed some things
  • Moved some others

Project - Clean Study - Day 1

This is what it looked like this morning before I started. This shot was taken by the iMac camera. It doesn’t show the ultra messy state of my desk either.

We’ll see how we go by the end of the week, but 15 minutes a day can make a difference.

So, I’m reading a book called “Quiet Leadership“, which talks about how the brain needs to make new connections and habits, rather than focusing on what has not been working. So day by day, I am going to clean the study. It has been bugging me for years, and today I have started that change.

What goal can you start, 15 minutes a day?

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Still loving the iphone after a week

So, I’ve had my iPhone a week and I am still in love (or Addicted). One of the interesting observations is my use of Internet and apps in locations I never used before. Right now I am on the train heading to work.

The keyboard in landscape really helps. On my nokia n95 it was basically a read only device as using the phone keypad to type in “texting” style was not that useable.

Social sites like linkedin and facebook can now be done in downtime like waiting for the train or in queues, rather than logging in as a distraction at work or home.

Calendar and mail sync is awesome. This device is my central view of work and home mail and calendars. If I don’t want to see work stuff, I can just use the google app to only view my home life. Although i do love being able to check if I have morning meetings without logging on to a pc.

Location and timetable apps are great, the melbourne train timetable app from metlink is really handy.

I think it can make people more efficient, and more importantly it does not get in the way

The touch screen is awesome, it feels so natural for some device to respond to gesture. While initially I found it a bit slow, I am thinking now it forces me to think more about whAt I am writing because it’s slower to type.

So, what are your observations on how it’s improved your life? Still exciting after months or a year?


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NLP Book : Change your life in 7 days

Change Your Life in 7 Days

Change Your Life in 7 Days

I have been looking at some NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) recently. While in a bad mood one work trip to New Zealand, chanced upon Change your life in 7 Days “includes free mind programming CD” in a great second hand book store in Wellington. It looked like a good summary of NLP techniques in an easy to read format.

So, I was hesistant at first, it did seem a little “out there”. However, when you actually read this stuff and listen to the CD, it is all about focusing on what you want.

In highschool over 15 years ago, they always talked about the best chance of achieving goals is writing them down and focusing on them.  Even recently with “The Secret” talking about “the law of attraction” it’s all still the same thing. This book and CD is the same, think and focus daily on what you want. I don’t think it’s a huge secret, but the daily discipline or structure of doing it and acting upon tasks to achieve your goals.

So, after reading this on and off for two week (yes, I didn’t read it in 7 …) but listening everyday to the CD on the train to and from work, I feel like my attitudes have changed.

My commitment? Just changing what I do on the train for 30 minutes. Focusing and thinking purely on what makes me happy and what I want.

Is the book earth shattering? No .. but not bad. I paid $20 NZD for it, at Neoscholar at the moment around $17.50 AUD (Click here for current prices)

Sometimes a little nudge is all we need. In this case I think the positive thoughts and encouragement every day on the CD really help.

What’s working for you?

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Moving Places

We have a new hosting arrangement as of today, I decided that I liked wordpress better, so I have installed it.

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