Managing Your Email Inbox

“For most of us, emails can be an enormous time-drain. While they’re meant to speed up communications, leaving us free to focus on important tasks, the reality is that they often do the opposite. Two of the main reasons for this are as follows:

You spend forever sifting through irrelevant messages, searching for those that are actually important.
Or you get caught in endless email streams that fail to resolve issues or find a solution to the initial point raised.

In some cases, this can result in an overflowing inbox of thousands of emails, which can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress. With that in mind, the following blog post will give you some tips and tricks for managing your inbox and mastering the art of emailing effectively.

Limit Your Time

While it’s tempting to spend your morning catching up on emails from the afternoon/evening before, this can reduce our productivity. The early hours are better spend focusing on the day’s most pressing tasks, as we’re more productive before lunch.
To avoid wasting too much time checking emails when you get into the office, allocate a strict 15-minute slot to address the most important messages that have come in overnight. Anything else can wait until later in the afternoon, when you’re likely to hit a productivity lull.

The 30-Second Rule

The 30-Second Rule states that if an email takes less than 30-seconds to resolve, deal with it immediately. This prevents the build-up of small tasks, which clutter your inbox and leave you feeling swamped with work.

Make A Call

Emails aren’t always the best way of communicating. In many instances, issues can be resolved quicker and easier with a phone call.  Next time you have a small issue to clear up, make a call instead of sending an email; this will save you from wasting too much time while you wait for a response.
Alternatively, if you need to discuss a larger issue with a colleague, arrange a call to talk through the main points. You can then send a quick follow-up email to summarise the points you addressed.

Stay organised

Keeping your inbox organised with labels and folders can help you feel more in control of your workload. A good method is to use your inbox as a to-do list; once an item has been dealt with, move it out of your main inbox and into a folder. This ensures that you’re only looking at the tasks that still need to be addressed.

Clean Up

If your inbox is cluttered with numerous subscriptions, it’s worth unsubscribing from these to reduce the amount of emails you receive on a daily basis.
If done individually, this can take forever. But luckily, applications like Unroll.Me will list all of the newsletters and mailing lists you’re subscribed to – you can then unsubscribe en masse. Combined with the previous tips, this will help to make your inbox much more manageable.”