Using the 4 D’s when working with Mail
- Delete it.
- Do it (respond or file for reference, can this be completed within 2 minutes or less).
- Delegate it (forward).
- Defer it (using categories and flags) for a second review in your task list.
Delete messages that you don’t need to read. If it’s junk, delete it.
If you never want to receive another message as part of this conversation, Ignore it.
Do it: The 2-minute drill
It’s amazing what can be done in two minutes. For example, many messages can be responded to in 2 minutes or less. But if a message takes longer than two minutes to deal with, defer it.
Sometimes you receive a message that is really meant for someone else to deal with. In these cases, reply and include the person to whom you are delegating the message on the To line. If you find you are doing this often, consider creating a Quick Step that replies and adds the delegated person to the To line.
Deferring a message means that you will review it later, when you have time.
Reasons to defer a message:
- It can’t be dealt with in less than two minutes.
- It will take a while to read.
- It will require a carefully crafted response.
- It requires additional action in another program