You can quickly become overloaded with emails. So how can you deal with this overload? The first step is to reduce the number of emails you receive.
- Restrict who you give your email address to. For example, if you enter a lot of contests, this often automatically subscribes you to several email campaigns. If you type your email into every popup box asking for it, these add up. Reduce who you give your email to.
- Unsubscribe! Go through your inbox and unsubscribe to newsletters that you never read. If you haven’t opened one of their emails in months, chances are that you won't in the future. Turn off notifications from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like emails from these networks, then at least adjust the settings so they email you highlights once a week or month instead of several times per day.
- Do you need that notification? If you receive emails that contain information you can find elsewhere, switch those notifications off. Make sure not to use your email as a to-do list. When you need to remember to do something, put that on a list elsewhere to clear up your inbox. If this is a hard habit to break, at least make a folder for things you need to do and move emails there and out of your general inbox.
- Change your email habits. If a topic is complex and will require a lot of back and forth conversation, consider discussing it in person or over the phone. Sending fewer emails will reduce how many you receive in return. You do not need to respond to every email you receive. Resist the urge to send messages with a single word like “Thanks!” or “Ok” and you’ll notice others will stop sending you similar, unnecessary messages. When sending group emails, you can also remind others not to use “reply all” unless it’s information relevant to the entire group.
Now you can start emptying out your inbox and getting rid of any old emails you don’t need to keep. Delete old calendar invites, advertisements, or any emails where the problem has already been resolved. Respond to any messages that can be answered quickly. File everything that is left until you have a completely empty inbox. Archive messages where you don’t need to take an action, but you think might be useful. You can search and find these later if necessary. Put other emails into folders based on the type of email and priority level.
All of this can be automated. You can have receipts automatically go into a receipt folder, calendar invites go into another, etc. A cluttered inbox leads to your mind feeling just as cluttered. Free up your inbox to free up your mind and create more time in your day-to-day life.
If you need help with your emails, give us a call at 937-660-4899.