This is not a tragedy.
All you can do, honestly, it start back up again. So I am. Step one is going to be my email inbox. I am typically very structured when it comes to cleaning out my inbox. I prefer to have less than 25 emails in my inbox at any given time. Everything else is either deleted or sorted into the appropriate folder/sub-folder to file away in case I need it. Currently there are over 600 emails in my inbox. This drives me insane so it's time to fix it!!!
I spent a lot of time developing this system, and it works wonders for me (when I work it). If you're in direct sales, this might be helpful to you.
First off, under your inbox, create a folder for your home office emails. So mine is 31 Corporate. Underneath that folder, create subfolders for anything you get a lot of emails on...for example, my subfolders are Shipping Notices, Leads, Leadership, Commissions and Incentives, and Meetings. Any email that comes in from my home office will generally fit into one of those sub-categories, and if not it goes into the main 31 Corporate folder.
Next, and these are the most exciting, I want you to create monthly folders...so my main folder is called 31 Monthly Folders. Underneath that I have the following:
- a. January 2015
- b. February 2015
- c. March 2015
The other big one is you HAVE to have a place to file all those great ideas that show up in your inbox that you MIGHT some day want to try out for your business. You know, those great post from company groups on Facebook that you're in a million of and will never ever find the post again if you don't save it? I know I have a ton of those mysefl!!! I call this folder 31 Ideas and have sub-folders like Party Ideas, Hostess Gifts, Fundraisers, Vendor Events. etc. Now every great idea that you honestly might really implement or try out has a place to go that isn't just your inbox, and if you find yourself looking for new Vendor Event ideas you know right where to look!
Okay, so mind blown? The rest of the folders are fairly easy, such as 31 Team, where I put all my team correspondence (sub-folders for Newsletter, Assistant, Weekly News).
Because I use just one email address for both my personal email and my business email, I also have a folder called Personal, and that has sub-folders for the kids, their sports (one for each sport), their school, a spot for emails from friends, etc. The whole point of all of this is to have a place for everything that you need to save.
I'm not going to lie, setting up this system and sorting through potentially thousands of neglected emails in your inbox is not going to be fun or easy. But I promise you it's totally worth it. And once you have it done, maintaining it is as simple as 30 minutes a week (scheduled into your calendar, which I will address in a future post on time management).
Now, time for me to go clean up a few weeks worth of neglect in my inbox. Good luck, all!