The martial art of emailing

Xin Fu : The Martial Art of emailing: The Junkshitiro

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Let’s observe for a moment a Tai chi master practicing his art. He focuses his mind solely on the movements of the form which help him reaching a state of mental calm and clarity. His moves are slow or fast but none of them are superfluous in the execution of the series of forms. All of them have a meaning and a defined goal.

The way you process your inbox should be like the forms of this master: without wasted movements. However, many of us unconsciously do superfluous moves. These are reflexes we all have in our everyday routine: systematically and regularly deleting some emails not really solicited (or not solicited at all).

Here is a quick list of the emails I am referring to :

  • Newsletter that you did not subscribe to and that is of no interest for your daily tasks
  • Advertisement emails (not clearly targeted and therefore not interesting)
  • Spam emails that reach your inbox despite the spam filter in place
  • Daily reports automatically generated by a website or by your intranet (maybe you wish to read them from time to time but most of the time they stay in your inbox or you delete them)

In short, a series of unnecessary emails you always treat  in the same way: by pressing the “del” button ( I just hope that you do not keep them in your inbox)

I have decided to name those emails “The Junkshitiro’s” and let’s see in the following workflow how to deal with them.

XinFu - Junkshitiro - Work Flow -

Simple, isn’t it? So why isn’t your inbox setup this way? Maybe because you did not realize that a couple of minutes spent to define rules may help you gain some precious hours in your email processing along the year.

Once this system in place, you just need to add 2 quick actions in your weekly review check list :

  • Delete your “junk emails” folders
  • Quickly scan the « to filter my pond » folder to see if something may be interesting. Then select them all and press “del” (this push is now authorized)

Remember that the goal is to be like the Tai Chi Master. Do not let your energy flows in unnecessary motions and concentrate on the essentials motions in a continuous rhythm.

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