22 Mar 5 Shortcuts for Dealing with Email Overload
Too many emails in your inbox is a common frustration that most of us lack the time to fix.
If you don’t want to take the radical step of deleting all your emails and starting again – known as inbox zero or email bankruptcy – try the following solutions for putting an end to an unmanageable inbox.
1. Set time limits
Schedule in certain times of the day for processing email and set yourself a time limit. Turn off email notifications and resist the temptation to check your email every five minutes.
Give yourself 20 minute blocks throughout the day and process emails in batches. What you don’t get through, you leave for the next scheduled block.
2. Use filters and folders
Move emails out of your inbox quickly by filing emails into folders like ‘needs action’, ‘long term’, ‘purchases’, ‘travel’. If it’s an event, schedule it into your calendar and delete the email. For newsletters and alerts that you subscribe to, create a filter that automatically deposits these into your ‘reading file’. Don’t ever read an email and leave it sitting in your inbox.
3. Archive constantly
‘Archive’ is a great tool for making emails disappear from your inbox and then reappear again when you search for them. It’s perfect for those emails you don’t want to delete but are not important enough for you to move into a folder. One way to bring your inbox back to zero is to create an ‘others’ folder; move all your emails in here and archive each one of them.
4. Unsubscribe frequently
Be ruthless with what emails you allow in. Turn off social media notifications and unsubscribe to all but the essential.
5. Find an email app
There are many apps with specific features relating to email clearing, which makes it easier to manage your inbox when you’re on the go. Look for features like quick swipe for archiving and scheduling emails, ease of switching between accounts and simple inbox and folder navigation.