Do you ever feel like your e-mail inbox is just a revolving door of tasks and to do items? Every time you answer an e-mail, three more magically fly in and need to be dealt with. Work correspondence, invitations, coupons and junk mail. There’s no doubt, the endless stream of content can be completely overwhelming. If you’ve had dreams of achieving the elusive phenomenon of ZERO messages in your inbox, look no further. These tips will help you promptly get through those e-mails and maintain a manageable inbox!
1. Set Aside a Chunk of Time
Sure, going through e-mails can be a pain. But, they’ll pile up to overwhelming proportions if you never actually dedicate the time to sorting through them. Develop a set schedule for yourself that includes assigned time to sort through your new messages. Many of us start our days by reading through what new e-mails have arrived. Instead of simply browsing through new messages, make sure you’ve allocated enough time to actually sort through all of your e-mails. Respond to the ones that require an immediate response. Delete the ones you don’t need, and keep or file away the ones that contain important information. It may seem like you’re wasting time, but it’ll streamline your workday in the long run.
2. Get Rid of Junk First
If you’re anything like the average person, a large amount of the e-mails you receive on a daily basis are just junk or spam. These messages can easily be deleted, but many people just let them sit unopened in their inbox. Take the time to delete any junk e-mails immediately. It will help to de-clutter your inbox, and make it easier to see the important messages that you actually need to take care of.
3. Utilize E-Mail Folders
Many people also treat their inbox as one large e-mail holding space, with a hodgepodge of important messages, junk mail, reminders and invites. Reserve your precious inbox real estate for just e-mails that need to be dealt with promptly. Create categorized e-mail folders for all other things. These categories could be everything from “Finances” or “Personal”, to a folder named for a specific work project. Categorizing your messages will not only help you maintain a clean inbox, but also make it easier to find that specific message you’re looking for. Instead of scrolling through a never-ending inbox of old messages, you can simply visit the appropriate folder!
4. Develop a System
Just like you want to designate a set amount of time to manage your e-mails, you also want to make sure that you’re using that time effectively. So, develop a process that works for getting through your e-mails promptly. Do you prefer to read all of your e-mails at once and then prioritize which should be addressed first? Or, do you want to start with the oldest e-mails and then read and handle one at a time, in chronological order? Figure out a system that works for you, and then stick with it!
With digital communication being a huge part of how people function in the modern world, it doesn’t take long for your e-mail inbox to get out of hand. Keep these tips in mind to stay on top of those never-ending messages!
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