Gates is not a fan of writing to-do lists, and neither is self-made millionaire Tony Robbins. To-do lists "make you feel like you're being productive without actually accomplishing anything," Robbins wrote in a recent blog post.
As Microsoft's chairman, Gates used his email, desktop folders and an online calendar to prioritize tasks. "When I walk to my desk, I can focus on the emails I've flagged and check the folders that are monitoring particular projects," he wrote.
In addition, the philanthropist utilized in-box rules and search folders to highlight and group emails based on their importance and content.
Hitting the spam button can also help prioritize certain messages, explains Boomerang CEO and email productivity expert Alex Moore. By marking extraneous emails as spam, rather than just deleting them, your email platform is better programmed to know what content to remove automatically. This frees up the time that you'd spend deleting useless messages.
Since email is the preferred mode of communication in the workplace, we're faced with information overload, Gates asserted in his Fortune article.
"We're at the point now where the challenge isn't how to communicate effectively with e-mail, it's ensuring that you spend your time on the e-mail that matters most," he wrote.
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