So how do you manage your emails?
Do you put off your emails until you receive a notification that your storage has no available space left?
Are you aiming for a zero inbox? Either way, the end result for both is unmanageable.
Aiming for a zero inbox is an unsustainable way to manage your incoming messages. You will spend too much time trying to keep the number of emails down that you will be distracted and you and waste too much time on checking your inbox, which will take your focus away from other projects and tasks.
So how do you stay on top of your inbox?
Below are a few simple methods to try:
This is simple and manageable method, which can take away those hours you have spent on managing your emails! The ADFD method – action, delegate, file or delete?
If it is something that is not straightforward and will take some time, then you can still action it – the action will be to advise the sender you have received and will come back to them, whilst you then schedule the time to complete it.
Turn email notifications off
If you have a pop up or a sound notification set up to notify you every time you get an email, I’m pretty sure most of us will act upon that sound or pop up every time we hear or see it. Whilst this may seem like an obvious thing to do, it actually means we end up distracted from whatever task we are working on at that time. So, turn the notification off and check your inbox in the time you’ve allocated!
You are probably signed up to loads and loads of mailing lists without even realising it! So, once you have deleted what you don’t need and moved want you want to keep, it would make sense to remove yourself from the mailing lists that you no longer want or need to be on. There is a fab app called Unroll Me that you can use, it allows you to see a list of your subscriptions and you can easily unsubscribe from whatever you don’t want – it’s totally free and a great tool to use.
These are my preferable methods I practice and would recommend to avoid inbox clutter:
Managing your inbox on a daily basis:
Allocate time for checking mail
Allocate specific times of day to check your inbox and try not to dip in and out of your emails at any other time. For example, check your emails around 9am, 12ish, 3ish and once more before switching off for the day. If you prefer to respond instantly you could perhaps set up an auto responder and then reply properly in the time you’ve allowed yourself to check your emails. If you can follow this simple rule, you won’t lose concentration or be drawn away from the other important tasks that you are working on.
Create templates for regularly occurring emails
If you send the same email often, set it up as a template. I have several saved for things such as my rates, my terms and conditions and information to accompany my invoices. Being able to select and modify the template instead or creating a whole new email saves me quite a lot of time each week.
These simple steps should make clearing and managing your inbox simple, however, if you just can’t find the time to follow these steps, drop me a line and see how I can help. I can help create and implement the systems that you need to organise and manage your inbox.
Thanks for reading!