Productivity: How to deal with your inboxes and other tips

Divide your work/tasks/papers/emails etc into these categories:

  • File: Informational and requires no action from you. Save it and divide it into categories
  • Delete: No action/saving it needed
  • Do it: If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now
  • Action it: If it takes more than 2 minutes, put it into your task list/calendar
  • Waiting/pending: If you are waiting for someone to get back to you; file these into a “pending” folder and put a note in your calendar to remind yourself to check in with them a few days down the road

Other tips:

  • Schedule complex tasks for the time of the day when you are at your best/most productive
  • If you can do that, then try to minimize distractions, work at a slower pace and check your work
  • Estimate the time you took to do certain tasks and note it down so you know how to plan for similar tasks in future
  • Batch similar tasks together so you can work on them at the same time
  • Multi-tasking comes with a switching cost. The time and effort you need to reacquaint yourself with the task
    • To reduce this, leave a note with instructions as to how you should continue your task when you get back to it

from Tumblr

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