You have a morning routine and an evening routine. You’ve got a planner and a cute lil’ to-do list, right? All of which keep you focused and proactive in your business. These are all RECOMMENDED forms of intention which in turn, lessen stress. YASSSS!
However, most of you aren’t doing this ONE, simple thing each day and it is nagging at your mind. It’s not letting you fully ‘turn off’ from work each day and it’s keeping you captive to your business.
In today’s bonus, I’m sharing a strategy that I have used for years. It’s not groundbreaking. It’s easy and fast to implement, yet – it is critical for me in my sanity to make sure it’s done.
I think you are going to enjoy this one, sis!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey sisters. I was thinking about ways that I reduce stress in my business. And I realized there’s one thing that I do every single day. Every day, that really helps me feel this mental peace about my business. And I’m going to share that with you today. It’s going to just be the most simple thing I could ever share, but I realized maybe this is a point of contention for you and your business. And maybe my tips can help you just get that 1% more peace and peace of mind inside of the day to day ops of your biz. I hope you enjoy.
All right, sisters, my secret, the stressor that I’m going to share with you life altering tip. Just kidding. It’s a so not, but it really is something that I feel super strongly about is to keep an inbox zero. Say what? Yes. At any given time on a day-to-day basis. I have an inbox of zero. That’s right. Now, usually I go to bed and make sure that my inbox is zero. Now I’m not doing this at night, obviously, but I am doing it in the afternoon.
And first of all, why am I doing this? I am doing this because when we don’t have an inbox of zero and by zero, I’m saying there’s no unread or, undealt with messages, okay? There’s no alerts, no unread stuff in your inbox. Why am I doing that? Because when you have unread stuff, it’s just like social media notifications. It’s triggering, it’s this pull in the back of your mind about all the things you have to do, all the things that went undone and it bugs, and it just doesn’t allow you to fully rest.
It doesn’t allow you to fully be at peace in your business. At least for me, if I have a whole bunch of messages and I know that messages on Facebook or Instagram or in my inbox, it makes me just feel unrest.
So that’s why, so then the second thing is, well, how holy smokes, how? Here’s how. The first thing you have to do is you have to decide what is your normal email? Like we’ve all had an email address since, you know, whenever the nineties, mine is still AOL. So y’all can laugh at that. That inbox is my everything. Like it’s all this spam, it’s decades old. It’s the one that people have for me, like forever. That one obviously does not have an inbox zero. That’s my just massive junk, personal email.
Good luck if you send me something there that I will ever see it. It also doesn’t stress me out because it’s not business. Now, when I set up my personal email, I decided that email was going to stay super pristine. It was going to stay super clean. And that email was always going to have an inbox zero now, 99% of the time, because grace and because kids and because life, but doing our best.
So as I started to receive business emails, I would immediately create rules for things like, okay, this is junk. Okay, this is client. Okay. This one is for my VA or whatnot. So I immediately started to be proactive about categorizing emails. I also started to block and unsubscribe the second something came in that was not pertinent to me or my business, wasn’t from a client, wasn’t something I needed to keep.
So I have, the second a junk comes in I unsubscribe or I block that email address. That way it never comes into my inbox again. Yes, please. Now, the other thing that I did, I think that will really help you as soon as you can get a virtual assistant or someone to help you in your business. And y’all, I’ve said this before. I’ll say it again.
Get resourceful. There are people on Fiverr and Upwork who are literally, my clients have this so I know this is true, literally four and $6 an hour. Okay? So I’m not being bougie by saying, get a VA. Like I’m not saying that from a place of privilege or something, I’m telling you guys that if you get resourceful, you can even get an intern. You could even get a college student or a high school student to help you in your business.
So that’s what I mean by getting some help. It doesn’t need to be expensive, nor should it be when you’re getting started. But what I did is I set up a secondary email address for my virtual assistant. So that instead of me seeing everything, she sees everything, and then funnels the emails to me that have anything that I need to deal with. Right? Specific client stuff. Like she’s my buffer.
So that’s another way you keep an inbox zero without stressing yourself out is you literally have an inbox manager, like it’s your VA’s job to go through emails, block the junk, unsubscribe, deal with things as they can answer emails as you train them to and then only forward you things that you need to deal with that is running your business in a smart way. The less you have to do in your business, the better sisters.
It is not a power trip to say, I do everything in my business. That’s a constraint. That’s you being the lid. The less you do in your own business, the better. You want to have room and space and bandwidth to be the visionary, to come up with amazing new ideas, to just show up for the stuff you love and stop doing all the things you don’t love. And me managing inbox, not something I love.
So those are some strategic things that I did now. So after that, because I’ve been super proactive, what comes into my inbox every single day is literally only action items. 90% of the time, it’s a client. It’s someone booking me on their show or me I’m scheduling something. My virtual assistant asking me questions, me sharing a podcast episode to my VA, me sending out messages, whatever it might be like to you guys.
I mean like that’s the kind of stuff that’s happening in my inbox. So it’s down to such a manageable level because all of the junk, all of the non-important stuff is either filtered out, deleted, unsubscribed or delegated, right away. So then what I do is tip typically when I get into my work block of time, the first thing I do is take 10 to 15 minutes to reply to emails. That’s right. 10 to 15 minutes.
How am I doing that? I’m doing that because I answer emails with one to two sentences. If you write me a novel, that was nice of you, but you’re going to get back one sentence. Why? Because time is money. If you ask anybody that works with me on my team, do they get long extensive emails from me explaining things, telling them things delegating. Absolutely not.
If I need to have a conversation with you, we are on voice memo. I’m voice messaging you on Voxer or Facebook, or I do a video for you showing you what to do. Writing takes way too much time. And that’s exactly what email is. It’s writing. It’s a time suck. So when you guys reply to people in your inbox, be short, be to the point and let that just be known that that’s your communication style.
Even when I’m replying to a client with a replay, it’s three short sentences. Hey girl, that was so much fun. I loved our session. Here’s your replay. Here’s a link to your notes. God bless you. I’m cheering for you. Done. You guys, the emails don’t need to be a time suck. Even when I’m drafting emails to send to you guys in relation to my podcast episodes, guess what that is.
It’s a repurpose of the description that I already wrote for the podcast that already exists, like repurposing is life. So that’s another strategy to get that inbox to be zero and to get that action item off of your plate as soon as possible, super quick to the point, short, direct emails whenever possible, or I’m delegating it. If I can delegate an email without having to reply to it, that’s what’s happening.
Basically my rule of thumb is this, can I unsubscribe from this or block it? Like literally if it’s junk, I don’t ever want to see that again so that’s the first thing. Second thing, is this a rule or something that I can easily categorize? Number three, can I delegate this email to someone else? Number four. How can I reply and pass the ball into someone else’s court as quickly as possible, right?
So if somebody is like, Hey, can I schedule an interview? How do I get rid of that to-do list item as quickly as possible, friends? I just say yes, sure. Here’s the booking link. Done. I’m done with it. They have the ball in their court. That’s it. Good to go. So I’m basically passing off the baton as quickly as I can when I get an email.
And the other thing, the other final strategy that I had mentioned was delegating as far as creating a buffer between you and all of the emails. So either allowing your virtual assistant or your intern or your helper to have access to your inbox and cleaning it out, or even better setting them up their own email address, funneling all the support emails to that address, all the podcasts emails to her, all of the emails that come from the website go to your VA.
She deals with it. She decides, can I answer this? Which hopefully you got somebody that is trainable and that you can teach them to answer almost every question in your business. Or does Stefanie have to answer this question? Forwards it to me with a specific sentence, like my VA, shout out to Nina, she’s great at this.
She doesn’t just forward me somebody’s novel. She forwards me their novel with one sentence. Can you open a slot at this time? I’m like, yes, I can. Here you go. And so when I’m replying back to Nina, I’m replying back with the deliverable. Yes, I can. Here’s the link. Do you guys see that? So if there is unnecessary back and forth happening, let’s cut that out. If there’s unnecessary banter and like a long and drawn out emails that literally have no activity tied to it, it’s not a client, it’s not a pertinent thing. Cut that out.
Start getting known for being super direct and to the point. It doesn’t mean that we’re brash or that we are, you know, hard. It just means time is money. Like I’m still super loving in one sentence, if you know what I mean? I’m like, Hey Julia. Oh my gosh. Yes. I’m super excited. Here’s the link. Done. So you can still have your tone, but be more efficient.
So I do that in the morning. Whenever I get into the work block. Now, before I get out of my final work block. So typically after I get my son from preschool or whatever, and my other son is finished with distance learning, usually around four, I pop back into another work block for about an hour and I either prepare the following days episode, whatever else I might be, answering people on Facebook and my Facebook groups, sometimes that happens.
And I’m also getting back in at the very last 15 minutes of my work block for the day and clearing the inbox again to zero. And there’s something triggering for me about an email that’s left unopened. So I’m speaking at an event in December. She is emailing me things about this event. I cannot deal with it yet until I’m ready to record. So that stuff is going into a folder that’s titled with her event, because I need to get it out of my main inbox because an unopened message gives me a high level of stress.
So if you guys have emails that are still an action item that literally cannot be dealt with at that moment, move it into a folder that says, like to do, to do action items or event December, 2020, like whatever that thing is, get it out of your view so that you can constantly maintain that peaceful mind that, Hey, I’m leaving today with an inbox of zero, with zero action items in my brain nagging at me, no notifications, quote unquote in my inbox. And I’m able to just rest easy.
I hope this episode helped you. I know that this is just one of my favorite strategies in my business that I just feel like maybe might help you guys too. And it will also help you really become super efficient in the way that you communicate. And that is a tool that you guys are going to need as you scale and grow the bigger you get, you don’t want more emails, you want less.
The bigger you grow, you don’t want to spend more time in the inbox communicating, you want to delegate more, right? So that is what I’m all about. How can I teach you the skillset that you guys are going to need when you get to this level? And when you pass me and when you become six figure and seven figure and eight figure earners in your business, how do you not be the lid?
Because that is a major problem that so many solopreneurs and entrepreneurs face is that they are unwilling to begin to delegate before they’re ready. And that is a huge, huge loss to the productivity of your business. So there you guys go, I hope that this was helpful in you’re able to implement this strategy. It’s so liberating. I’m telling you, but I just want to lift you up.
I pray that you are fueled with happiness today, that you are looking for the little things that just bring you joy and fulfillment, taking a minute to just breathe in all of the gifts and the glory that God has brought into your life, that He has gifted you here and now just taking a minute to set everything aside and look up, instead of looking down at the computer, at the phone, at all the to-do list items, at the poop smear on your floor, you know, is that just me? I don’t know.
But that you look up, look into the miraculous that you have here on earth. Choose to live above the fray, to live in a perspective of miracles, a perspective of gratefulness and gratitude and a perspective of thank you, Lord for this life. Thank you for what I have, for everything I need. Thank you. I’m grateful. And that just brings you and infuses you with more joy and happiness today and every single day.
And thank you, Father. We love you. Thank you for this time together. Thank you for every single woman and man men that you have brought to this show that have been inspired or transformed in some way by you and your teaching, because this God is your show. And I’m just grateful that I get to be a vessel. In Jesus’ name. Amen. I love you guys. And I’ll meet you back here super soon. Love and light, Stef.