Are you Stuck on a Hamster Wheel? I just finished reading a great book, The Hamster Revolution by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey & Tim Burress. It is all about stopping the info-glut in your life and getting your life back; in other words, "How to Manage your e-Mail before it Manages You." We all feel that way at times, don't we? Come on, you can admit it!
Having taken my e-PRO certification back in 2003, I already had a handle on many of the things discussed in the book, so for me it wasn't a major revelation; it was more of a reminder. There were a few hints that came in handy (number your most important files in Outlook so they appear at the top of the list--I had the most important ones starting with "A," and the ones I least often used starting with "Z." The numbers are a better idea). Other hints made me squirm (tell people what you like about their e-mails, and let people know what you don't like--telling them what I don't like is a bit outside my comfort zone, but I will try).
One thing that really didn't get mentioned in the book was unsubscribing. I just didn't bother, but this book made me realize that taking the time to click "delete" every day on 20-30 e-mails is a waste! If I unsubscribe, that's 20-30 less interruptions! A great tip given on the Hamster Revolution website was to set up Rules on every e-mail that comes in that is low priority. Have them automatically sent to a "Low Priority" folder. As it comes in - not "later." You know, the Staples ad, the linked-in updates, etc. Now you can take a look at those when your time allows.
The Hamster Revolution absolutely made me think about how much time I waste in a day reading (or even glancing at) unnecessary or unclear e-mails. I definitely think I will be freeing up some time every day because of the simple-to-enact suggestions in this book!