Tame Your Email Inbox

The email inbox is what seems to be one of the biggest reasons behind productivity loss. You look at your email inbox and the next thing you know, half your work day is already over. As someone who receives countless emails a day, I have learned how to tame my inbox by applying the following strategies.

Delete emails that are unimportant. If your inbox contains emails you never read, that is because those emails are either unimportant or irrelevant to you. Delete these as soon as you can, otherwise you will be looking at those emails again an hour later.

Turn off your email notifications. Being interrupted when you’re in the flow of work can be annoying. You may be in the middle of an important task, and then suddenly your computer ‘pings’ and that pesky email notification pops up! Turn them off to ensure your concentration does not get interrupted.

Allocate a set time to check your emails. Many people prefer to do this first thing in the morning, while others may choose to do so after they have accomplished their most important tasks for the day. Select a specific time to check your emails, otherwise you may find yourself looking at them more often than you would prefer.

Answer your emails quickly, even if you only write one line. If you leave the email until a later time, you will likely spend more time writing the reply. Also, your email replies need not be the length of small blog posts; reply in a couple of sentences instead.

Keep your business and personal emails separate. When you do this, it is far easier to let software tools or a personal assistant manage your emails. They will let you know if any email requires a quick or urgent response. And imagine how great it will feel to have that task off your to-do list!

There is no doubt that emails are the preferred method of communication by many people and businesses. It can be quick and simple, and most of the time you don’t feel like you are getting yourself into a long conversation. Keep it short and sweet.