It's 8 am on Monday morning, and you find it is an ideal time to check your emails. You open your inbox only to find 30+ emails fighting for your attention. You find yourself questioning which email to respond to first? Or do I have enough time to respond at all? Have you been there? Me too! You see while email is a very beneficial tool; it can lead to feelings of anxiousness and overwhelm. To help you, I have compiled seven tips to help you overcome to email overload so that you can start managing your email and stop letting it control you!
1.) Schedule A Time TO Read and Respond
The number one step to managing your email is learning to not allowing it to become an all-day task. To do this, you must start by scheduling time during the day to check your emails. Whether it is during your lunch break or first things in the morning, schedule a time and stick with it. If you check a few times a day limit it to 5-10 minute intervals. Doing this will help checking email to be a scheduled task and not just an all-day activity.
2.) Delete Unnecessary Emails First
When you're checking your emails, start with deleting unnecessary emails first. Start by getting rid of promo and spam emails. Getting rid of these emails first allows you the opportunity to focus on responding to the emails that require your attention.
3.) Unsubscribe from Promo
To decrease the overall volume of your email folder, start with unsubscribing from promo emails is a step in the right direction. Most times we give our email to get in exchange for a simple coupon and end up receiving emails about company sales every week. For the sake of your pockets and your email space start unsubscribing and limit the promo emails.
4.) Organize Folders
Organization is KEY! Start by labeling and setting up folders in your inbox. Fast Company outlined a brilliant process for organizing your emails here. Once you set up your folders, you can begin to move emails to their appropriate folders so that you can either respond to them later or save them if easily find them later if they are important.
5.) Create Rules
Creating a rule on emails will allow for emails from a specific email address, or email with a particular title to go directly to its designated separate folder. Having rules helps to decrease the overflow of your regular inbox. When you allow your emails to go to their appropriate folder automatically, it will enable you to prioritize what requires your most immediate attention during your email access times.
6.) Turn Notification Off
Turning notifications off is essential to sticking to your designated email check-in times. Believe me, when I say, it is easy to get sucked into the email checking hole once you see that notification sign on your phone or computer. Allow yourself the time and space to check emails on your terms.
7.) Send Less Responses
If you want to receive fewer emails, start sending fewer responses. If you keep responding with open-ended answers/questions, it allows the opportunity for more emails. If you have a conversation that looks like it will become back and forth, then it may be best to pick up the phone and call that person. Believe me when I say 5-10 minutes on the phone is nothing compared to clogging up your already overwhelming inbox.
Well there you have it, my top 7 tips to better managing the overwhelm of the inbox. If any of these tips work for you shoot me a comment or email, I'd love to hear from you.