Always, in the spirit of saving time, any posts that I write on the topic of time-saving will be short and to the point.
This is about the obsession that most of us have with seeing ” 0 Inbox” or “0 Messages.” You know what I’m talking about right? Like seeing the Message Icon on your phone will drive you insane until you just get rid of it. And if you have even one unanswered email sitting in your inbox, you won’t rest until it’s responded to and done away with.
This leads to wasting a lot of time and you no longer trust yourself to be around your phone or sign onto your email, especially when you have a deadline to catch.
Here’s a solution for you, bi’ithnillah:
(The words emails, texts, messages, and posts are all synonymous from hereon.)
1. Set out an hour (“hour” here is any unit of time, not necessarily 60 minutes) every day, where you sign onto your email, social networks, blogs, and what have you. In this hour, respond to everything urgent first. Then relax and respond to the less urgent messages. DON’T SIGN ON THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY, EXCEPT DURING THIS HOUR, otherwise there is no point!
And if, throughout your day, it occurs to you that you have to send an email to so-and-so about such-and-such, set a reminder about that, and make sure the reminder is set to go off during this designated hour. Then relax because when the hour comes, you will take care of it, and you won’t be itching to sign on during random points in the day.
2. Keep your emails short and to the point. The longer your emails are, the longer the responses to them will be.
3. Certain messages do not need to be responded to. Learn to recognize those.
4. Some emails will require a long response from you. And there will be some emails which you will have no choice but to put off to a later time, thus forcing you to keep seeing the “(1) Inbox” sign. Train yourself to recognize which emails these are (they are very few, that’s why you need to train yourself to recognize them), and if you can’t knock them out during your designated hour, set another time aside for them. And don’t let it drive you insane that it’s still sitting there. You have more important things to tend to.
5. This will not work well if you over-socialize (see an older post – search “over-socialize”). This will work well for those people who use their emails, social networks, and blogs as a tool to get essential work done (studies, da’wah, light socializing). If you have 15 new messages a day on facebook, then I’m sorry, this probably won’t work for you. But good news, I will write another post on facebook inshaaAllah.
Try this out and let me know how it goes. Also, if you have any other advice, feel free to comment below inshaaAllah.