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Touch Email Once - The 4 D's

  • Delete it or File it
  • Delegate it
  • Do it
  • Defer it

Most of your inbox is filled with email that you have looked at multiple times but done nothing with or worse, you have not even opened it.  

I'm sure you have lots of reasons for leaving it there, but there is a better way.  

Below I have put together some tips that will help you get through your emails and back to your productive goals​

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Delete it. If you don't need the information in the email, make the decision to delete the email and move on to the next. If you can unsubscribe from future emails that could be a great option.


If the email is something you want to keep, but requires no action, then file it.



Delegate it. If the email is going to need someone else to do something before you action it, then send it and move on.



Do it. If you're not able to delete the email and you're not able to delegate the email, then your next test is...."can I answer this email in under two minutes?" If yes, then do it now. If not, then defer it to complete later.


Defer it. Move the item to your calendar and set aside an appropriate amount of time to complete the task.

Deferring items to your calendar is an important process. This allows you to set the time that you will assign to the task, not allowing others to dictate how you spend your time.


Part of your morning routine should be:

  • Check your calendar for all the tasks needing completion today
  • Put a reference note in your focus list so you can track your tasks
  • If you complete a task with time to spare you can then decide to start another task earlier

If you feel overwhelmed by emails, I've created a guide to help you. You can get instant access by completing the form below. These seven simple steps have helped many others to break free from email overwhelm, so I encourage you to grab the guide today!


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