Today’s Productivity Tip: Touch Every Outlook Message

Jump Start Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s Tip: Touch Every Outlook Message

This week you can do something in Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or other email program to boost your productivity. It’s a step that you didn’t do last week but wish you did.

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Try this:

Make it a point each day this week to touch every message in your Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or other email program’s inbox.

You do this with the following routine:

  • Process your email in three set times: morning, just after lunch, and before leaving work
  • Make decisions on every message: either delete, reply (if it takes 2 minutes or less), or schedule as a task on your to-do list
  • Reward yourself with an office break each time you successfully get through the inbox
  • Too much email for one day? Estimate the total messages you receive each week and divvy-up your inbox between 5 days — any leftover messages can be assigned as a standing Friday task
  • Create folders to park message that aren’t important now, but you should save for future reference
  • Unsubscribe immediately from any newsletters you don’t read two weeks in a row

Here’s why:

Remember, Outlook and other email programs can be both good things and bad things when it comes to your productivity. The key is to stay on top of your inbox with a set routine that allows you to control the influx of messages while responding to what’s important.

Make this time saving, productivity boosting step part of your week.

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at