How To Stop The Email Overwhelm
15 Jun 2021
Are you tired of the growing number of unread emails in your inbox? Do you struggle to stay on top of the deluge of messages? What started out as a handy way to communicate has turned into a monster.
One of the biggest office productivity time sucks. According to a McKinsey analysis, the average professional spends 28% of their working day reading emails.
Every day our inboxes are groaning under the weight of a never-ending onslaught of messages. Unless you take control, yours will squeeze the efficiency and productivity out of you. So, here's some advice on how you can stop your inbox from taking over.
Start with A Clean Slate
If you have hundreds of emails right at this moment, that's too many. No matter how clogged up your inbox, you're probably going to need some time to clear it. This time won't magically appear, so set aside a few hours to go through everything. Your goal is to eliminate every email so you can start afresh. Once read, move them all to the trash bin or archive them. It will take guts to do. Be brave. You've got this.
Create Time Blocks
On average, workers check their emails 15 times a day, or every 37 minutes. Breaking the habit of looking at them throughout the day or whenever you hear an alert is hard. But break it, you must.
Instead of stopping what you're doing at any moment to respond to a cascade of emails, schedule set times to go through your inbox. For example, when you arrive at the office, after lunch and last thing during your working day. You will eliminate a lot of work-related stress by adhering to a strict schedule.
Also, turn off all email alerts. Every time you receive one, they take your attention away from what you're doing.
Organise Your Inbox
Make your email inbox work for you by setting up a system that keeps it tidy. Here are a few ideas:
- Unsubscribe from email lists you don't read anymore. Be ruthless about this.
- Delete email apps from your phone. Do you really need to be connected 24/7?
- Set up filters based on keywords and specific email addresses. There are endless filter options that automatically sort your emails when they land in your inbox.
- Differentiate the professional and the personal. It doesn't help matters if you have an email account that's one giant mess of newsletters, spam, personal and work-related messages.
Aim to Maintain An Empty Inbox
Once you have a clean slate, you need to keep up the habit. Set yourself a target of finishing each day with an empty inbox. It's tough, but it will be worth it. Inboxes are tricky things, and if you're not careful, you will soon lose control again.
Make the Delete Button Your Friend
If messages aren't important to you, there's no reason to hang onto them. So, get them out of your inbox by hitting delete as soon as they’ve been read.
Good Luck Taming The Email Beast!
Follow these tips, and you will soon claim back your inbox and keep the chaos at bay.
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