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How to Keep Your Inbox Empty

At the end of the day, I get great satisfaction knowing that my inbox is empty. For the last 10 years, I have been able to stay on top of my email by following the tips I am about to share with you. Every time I get an email I go through this same process to keep my inbox empty.

1. Can I delete it?

I love deleting emails. I found most emails can be deleted with very little consequence to my work or life. I work in organizations where I am carbon copy on everything. I used to save these emails because I thought I will need it someday but this turns out to be false. Learn to embrace deleting emails and you are halfway to taking charge of your inbox.

2. If I can’t delete it right away, can I act on it in less than 2 minutes?

If it is a short email that requires a quick response, I can actually take care of it right away. If the email takes less than 2 minutes to read and act upon, you should just do it. It is a waste of time to read and re-read an email multiple times without deciding to do something about it. Most emails fall under this category. Once I have acted on the email (either by reading or responding to it, it will get deleted it or filed away for reference). After reading emails, I always take action on it. The goal is to keep my inbox free of emails.

3. Turn your inbox into a to-do list or reminder.

My inbox is sacred territory. Any emails still residing there must be important or requires my attention. For example, if an email has an action item that I need to do, I will leave it in my inbox as a reminder that I need to do something. Also, if I am waiting for a reply back from someone, I will leave the email in my inbox as a reminder.  

5 Tips for Boosting Your Happiness

When we are unhappy, it affects all aspects of our lives including our work. Our productivity goes down, we are less engaged at work, we make more mistakes and we simply feel less motivated to get things done. There are things we can and cannot control. Our happiness is largely our responsibility even though it is mainly influenced by external circumstances or people. No one can make us unhappy unless we allow them to do it. One of the keys to becoming a peak performer is to cultivate more happiness in your life. Below are 5 tips that you can incorporate to put a smile on your face.

1. Make happiness a priority.

It is a good idea to start your day by telling yourself that you are going to be happy. No matter what happens during the day, good or bad, you will remain happy. Happiness is not dependent on outside circumstances. Happiness is a state of mind that we can choose everyday.

2. Do things that make you happy.

I know this is pretty obvious but most people neglect this very simple tip. How many times during the week have you done things that make you happy? If you list less than 5, you need to add more happy moments in your life. Do something today tht your future self will thank you for.

3. Live in the present moment.

The present moment is the only moment where you ever truly live life. When you think about the past and future, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to enjoy the present moment. One of the keys to happiness is live as much as you can in the moment. It takes some time and effort, but in the end, the act of living in the moment rewards not only you but the people around you.

4. Practice acts of kindness.

When life gets you down, the quickest way to cheer up is to do something for someone else with no expectations that you will be rewarded. Research shows that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. Making other people happy is the highest expression of gratitude.

5. Plan for happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy, but very few people achieve it. I think the problem is that we don’t consciously have a happiness plan. We have a plan for everything else but we neglect our own happiness. From the moment you wake up to when you fall asleep, you should make a conscious effort to be happy. Most successful people have a to-do list. Most successful and happy people also have a fun list. Develop happiness routines and make them a part of your everyday living.

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