Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of mail in your inbox? Some of them are simply spam, some of them you need your response and others call for a specific action. However, all of them require time to read and deciding what steps to take. A chockfull inbox effectively blocks your productivity and doesn’t allow you to go forward. Mailbox management to the rescue!
If you manage your email communication effectively, you’ll be able to focus on a particular task. You will also get inner peace because you wouldn’t be distracted by your email backlog.
Most of the emails you receive aren’t very important. It’s not just the traditional spam but also emails that are not vital to your life or your daily schedule. If you get a dozen of such emails every day, this will divert your attention from those important ones that require proper concentration.
If you get a lot of emails on a daily basis, you are not able to read them all. You probably mark the emails that are likely to be important and read /respond to them the following day. And so, day after day, at the end of the month your mailbox will show hundreds of unread messages.
That isn’t the way.
Below we list several methods to manage your mailbox. They can be useful regardless if you are using popular email programs or receive mail through a website.
- Don’t check emails in the morning.
Do you check your email first thing in the morning? Or perhaps your mailbox is constantly on? If you start the day by checking emails, organizing them and replying to them, you are wasting the valuable time that you should spend on the scheduled tasks.
- Take action.
When checking emails, start organizing them right away . Remove non-essential emails . If an email requires a response that will not take more than 2-3 minutes , write the response directly. Important emails you want to read can be moved to a “Waiting” or “To read” folder. If a mail requires action, add it to your ToDo list.
- Set filters.
If your email program supports multiple mailboxes, arrange incoming mail into separate folders, for example depending on the subject.
- Use folders.
Just like on the computer, use folders in your mailbox to sort emails by subject. You can create a folder “Waiting” where you will move emails that must be read or requiring further action. An “Archive” folder is another important element of your mailbox. This folder should contain emails that you already processed, but you may need to return to them later.
- Check emails regularly.
Check emails 3-4 times a day, organizing them and taking above measures. Checking emails every 15-20 minutes will not allow you to focus properly on tasks to be carried out.
These are simple rules that you can easily apply in your life. Using them every day will quickly become a habit and you’ll see that you can keep your inbox at manageable levels.