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How To Escape Email Jail, with Deirdre Van Nest

Are you getting lost in email? Discover the art of efficient email management and reclaim valuable time with our latest episode of The Team Success Podcast! In this episode, Shannon chats with renowned speaker, coach, and storytelling strategist Deirdre Van Nest about her game-changing email filtering system. You’ll learn how to delegate email tasks, set clear expectations, and leverage automation to streamline communication, plus gain actionable strategies for prioritizing valuable connections, protecting your energy, and optimizing productivity. Whether you’re seeking to automate your inbox or delegate email handling entirely, this episode offers invaluable insights and practical tips to help entrepreneurs reclaim control over their email overload and focus on what truly matters.

Show Notes:

  • As an entrepreneur, if you’re not working with clients or creating content, you’re not earning money.
  • You can gain back hours of earning potential each day simply by changing the way you handle email.
  • This starts by categorizing emails based on priority and then creating individual folders for each category.
  • “Urgent and important” emails need to be handled by the end of the day.
  • “Important but not urgent” emails can be responded to within two to five days.
  • “Not urgent, not important” emails can be addressed weekly.
  • For this system to work, you’ll need to spend time training your assistant on which emails go into which category. It may take a few weeks for the system to work effectively, but it’s a few weeks’ worth of effort for countless hours of time saved.
  • Once your assistant understands the system, the next step is for them to create daily executive reports about what’s in your folders so all you have to do is open up the report and decide what needs your attention when.
  • You should prioritize engaging with emails from individuals or opportunities that align with your goals and values. However, the ultimate goal is for your assistant to begin responding as you, freeing you up from email entirely, or close to it. You can start by delegating low-priority emails and working your way up from there.
  • This does mean you should communicate to your audience that receiving email responses from someone other than you is possible and explain the reasons behind it.


Crazy Good Talks

The Kolbe A™ Index

Unique Ability®


The D.O.S. Conversation®

The Eisenhower Matrix

“Geometry” For Staying Cool & Calm

Deirdre Van Nest's Information Sheet

Episode Transcript:
Shannon Waller: Are you getting lost in email? Stay tuned for a phenomenal conversation with my dear friend, client, and coach, Deirdre Van Nest, as we talk about not only how she reduced her email time from two hours to 15 minutes per day, but then eliminated it altogether. Enjoy.
Hi, Shannon Waller here and welcome to Team Success. Today, I am over the moon excited to talk to one of my very, very dear friends, a client who's also my coach, and this is Deirdre Van Nest of Crazy Good Talks. Deirdre, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. We've been talking about this for a long time.
Deirdre Van Nest: I know. I'm so happy to be here. Yes.
Shannon Waller: Usually you're like, "I'm not ready yet." I'm like, "Yes, you are." Anyway, I'm just thrilled. We're actually doing two podcasts together, so stay tuned for the second one. Let me just set up this podcast. There is a topic that you brought up in a workshop about six months ago that has to do with email that just lit everyone up.
Deirdre Van Nest: Yes.
Shannon Waller: It went on for a 15-minute conversation. We're going to get to that. But before we do, I just want to brag on you a little bit, and I'd like you to let people know a little bit about you because you're in Strategic Coach, you're in the 10x Program with me. I'd just love for people to know a little bit more about you. I want to tell the story of when we first met.

About the Author

Shannon Waller, Entrepreneurial Team Strategist, is a natural collaborator who instinctively saw that a thriving Unique Ability® Team can strengthen their entrepreneur, the business, and themselves. A win-win-win. Go, team, is Shannon’s rallying cry.

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