The Worst Enemy of Efficiency – A Cluttered Inbox

Clutter is one of the biggest enemies of efficiency that is holding back even the best of us.

Experts blame our overly cluttered environments for absolutely everything.

They go so far as to claim that clutter is responsible for many forms of unhappiness, the lack of productivity, and certain physical health issues.

So, what is the bottom line?

Clutter is simply debilitating.

And, apparently – unstoppable. Originated in the physical environment, the clutter has now “infected” a digital world also.

And that means that our well-being is jeopardized. How can we help?

Start from your closet. Seriously.

Cleaning out your closet and putting things where they “belong” – has deep healing power. By reducing the so-called noise of stuff around you, one can really make a change and the impact of their habits.

You and everyone else for that matter should be constantly focused on creation, making time and room for the things that matter the most.

Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in our brain are associated with pain – the anterior cingulate cortex and insula. They both light up when you are letting go of the items you own and feel a connection to. Basically, it is a pain of giving up an item.

Just to add up some curiosity to this fact, we are talking about the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain from a paper cut or drinking coffee that’s too hot.

And, boy, it hurts!

However, excess things in your surroundings have a very negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. In other word, it directly affects your productivity.

And we don’t like that, right?

If you find this whole thing somewhat shady, you might as well ask neuroscientists at Princeton University. They found that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

They concluded it after monitoring and analyzing people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment.

And their results have a load of sense.

As physical clutter overloads our senses, it makes us feel stressed, impairing our ability to think creatively.

Just think about it.

Think about all the files on your computer, social media notification, emails – or, basically, everything that goes “ping” during the period of 24 hours. All those things compete for our attention, and they wear down our ability to focus and perform the tasks.

Being constantly distracted by all those “pings”, our brain can never get a chance to fully enter creative flow or process experiences.

So, what happens next?

It’s quite simple.

You get awful in filtering information, switching task quickly or remembering things.

Speaking of memory, many people use their email accounts as a “second memory”. It is full of “important information”, phone numbers or files and images.

Actually, everything that went to that mysterious category of “I will need this one day”.

Not to mention an inbox full of unanswered emails!

And all that makes the business of taming the inbox – very, very difficult.

Even though email has been around for decades, managing it is a daily struggle for many people and it can depart us from getting our actual work done.

Teodesk has a solution.

Among many features, ticketing just might be our favorite.

This feature is essential for high-quality communication, both externally and internally. Ticketing system simplifies and speeds up the connection within the team and between you and the client.

So, what is it that you can do with it?

You can exchange emails directly on the portal and create tickets on it and link them to the tasks. In this way, this feature provides you a help/service desk system to support your clients, stakeholders, applicants, internal processes, etc.

Also, ticketing is a system that provides integration in the mail server. This leads to a full data consistency within each transaction, all in one place. It simplifies and speeds up the connection within the team and between you and the client – through emails, directly on the page.

This way, there is an opportunity to manage all activities in just one place and with one tool only.

You can receive and reply to e-mails directly through the application.

As usual, we are not stopping there. Besides Teodesk, you can help yourself with a few tricks and here they are.

1.aFollow a Five-Sentence Rule

“Less than five sentences is often abrupt and rude, more than five sentences wastes time” – Guy Kawasaki.

God knows we receive too many emails daily. It is hard to find time to reply to all of them so you should really consider adopting a Five-Sentence Rule.

Your response should never exceed five sentences. This way, you will respond quickly while keeping it clear and concise.

One warning:

There are always people who might take offense at the length of your response. To avoid that, you can mention in the signature that you follow the five-sentence rule.

2. One-Click Rule

This one is simple. Never open an email if you do not intend to answer it right away. One email should be clicked on just once. When you read it and replay.

When a new email comes in, and you don’t have the energy/time/mood to do anything about it, don’t open it. Save it for later.

3. Remove all files from your desktop daily.

No excuses.

4. Conduct a monthly review of your e-mail

As clutter is directly connected to your well-being, make sure you avoid it on all fronts. Starting with your home.

Every month or season, review your closet looking for items you haven’t worn. Get rid of it. No question asked.

Free yourself from the things you don’t need. Make some room for order and productivity. It was about time.

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