Don’t let your email get the better of you. With these tips, you can bring your inbox under your command.
Before you sign up, opt out
Take action before you even get to your inbox. If you sign up to a website or online service, decide whether you want to receive messages from them and opt out accordingly. This one change will cut down on what appears in your inbox. As for the unwanted emails you’ve already signed up for, have them routed to your trash folder.
Turn off notifications
Social media is great – it allows us to keep in touch with friends, see what people are up to, and keep an eye out for retail special offers. But if you’ve got email notifications turned on, they can clog up your computer. The news that Derek has got new socks or Sandra has had a coffee? Yeah, that can wait.
Don’t let it control you
One tip I’ve read is to only check your email three times a day. Why? Because the fear that we’ll miss something, the need to check in all the time, is part of what stresses us out. Chances are you’ll be OK leaving your email alone for an hour or two.
When you see it, act on it
But when you do check your email, do something with it there and then. You can respond, delete or even put it on your task list, but don’t let it fester. That’s how you get overpowered, and all too soon you won’t be able to handle the volume of messages you’ve got to get through.
The last-gasp archive
If your inbox is totally overwhelmed, if there’s no chance for escape, the last option available is to archive everything. You’ll need to speak to IT about this – and consider whether it’ll affect your day-to-day work – but it’s certainly one way to clear everything out. But if you go down this route, don’t fall into your old habits. Follow our tips as you start again.
These are super-simple ideas, but take them to heart and you’ll see an improvement. Email is very useful, but you’ve got to make it work for you, rather than against you.Good luck, and here’s to sweet electric dreams, rather than nightmares of overflowing inboxes.