Are you inundated with emails?
Does your inbox cause you to be overwhelmed or stressed?
I like a clean inbox, preferably inbox zero. I don’t like going to bed until my inbox is empty. Just knowing that I’ve handled most things helps me be less stress and sleep better.
I have a few tips and tricks to help you see past the clutter.
First, you do not have to respond to everything. I do this a lot too. Whether it’s a will do, or a Thank You, I usually respond to everything, but at some point, this just isn’t productive. You have to decide whether or not its a good use of your time.
Next, Jot things down. If its a sentence you want to remember don’t keep the whole email just that sentence. Even better use Evernote or Onenote and copy and paste in a keepers file.
Use labels! I LOVE labels (NOTE: labels are sometimes called folders or tags in different email providers). You can use labels like the ones below to keep you organized and prioritize your tasks.
- This week
- To read
- Follow Up
- Take Action
- To File or To Sort
- Newsletter Replies
- Contact Form Submissions
- Awaiting Reply
- Immediate Action
Don’t wait if you know you’re not going to read an email or have no interest in it – Delete it just get rid of it.
Lastly, have a routine. I know this sounds strange, but if you leave your inbox up all the time and stop working every time an email comes in your cutting down on your productivity.
Block times on your calendar to check your email. (NOTE: Some refer to this as batching) I recommend at the beginning of the day, before lunch, and at the end of the day. When you check your emails, delete emails that are junk and file emails that you won’t need.
Then follow the two-minute rule if it takes you less than two minutes than take care of it then take care of it. NOTE: This productivity tip will help you lower the number of emails that are on your todo list.
People also talk about O.H.I.O – Only Handle It Once. I usually read an email more than once before responding if it’s going to take me a few minutes or if I have to log in to a website. So for me, O.H.I.O doesn’t work.
Find out what time of day works best for you and block that time for your emails. I used to worry about missing a critical or urgent email. I soon realized that if it is genuinely urgent and the person emailing you doesn’t hear back from you quick enough, they will text or call. Just remember that when you want to check your emails in between your blocked off times
I used to worry about important or urgent emails piling up in between my email blocked times. I soon realized that if I didn’t respond quick enough, the person would text or call me about the issue. Just remember that when you want to check in between your scheduled times.
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