I have been working on my project for almost 10 years. There are a lot of people in my customer’s organization that I know. Having been here for a long time, I seem to have gotten onto a lot of email distribution lists. Most of the time, the information sent from these email lists is not required for my day to day operations.

Here is something I have found. Many of the emails from the customer are encrypted. They are slow to open. Some of that may be due to the fact that I am remotely connecting to our customer’s network over a VPN. Whatever the case, I find myself spending a lot of time opening these emails to find they have nothing to do with me.

My normal workload has been growing now that we have more work and less people on our team. Management says they are looking to add more people to our team. For the time being, things are chaotic. I did figure out a way to work smarter. In Microsoft Outlook, I just set up some rules to filter out the email coming from the mailing lists I am on.

My customer email rule just moves email automatically from my Inbox to another private folder. Nothing gets deleted automatically. However my Inbox is cleaner, and so is my schedule. Every once in a while I scan my private folder for subject lines which look like they are meant for me. If there was a true emergency, I would get a call.

Now the trick is to find out how I can identify and implement other time savers at work. A little change can go a long way, just like my custom email rule filter.