You just got back from a relaxing, overdue vacation. With fond memories of the beach or your camping trip still on your mind, you sit down at your desk. All those pleasant thoughts melt away, however, when you finally open up your email inbox that you haven't looked at in the past week. Over a hundred unread emails? And many of those are endless email chains you have to devote time to reading so as to not overlook crucial information? Yikes. You're probably already yearning for a second getaway - maybe much farther away this time.
Despite this struggle, don't run away from your inbox quite yet. Instead, learn how to manage it more effectively. Here are just a few of the numerous ways you can begin regaining control of your email inbox:
Don't be afraid to unsubscribe
If you are getting multiple emails a day from organizations or groups you don't directly do business with or need to know about, unsubscribe now! One of the worst ways to clutter your inbox is to continually clog it up with unnecessary emails. While you might not be able to unsubscribe from everything, at least try to trim it down.
Are you emailing people right down the hall?
Use your email to connect and communicate with clients, external sources, and large groups of internal personnel. What you shouldn't be doing is sending multiple emails to coworkers about small details that could be summed up in either one long email, or a quick chat in their office. Essentially, only use email when you have to, otherwise, use your phone, messaging services or your own two feet.
Set up filters
You'll want to categorize everything if you hope to organize your inbox. Set up filters for certain email addresses, groups, topics and more, where any of those emails will go straight to those folders and not fill up your main inbox. This will allow you to peruse your folders easily and avoid "information overload" mode.
How are you reading and responding to emails?
Email can be extremely distracting. Not only can you waste valuable time in your day constantly checking your inbox, but you may be spending far too much time reading them as well. If you can, try setting aside a few minutes each hour to pour over your inbox instead of having your email up all day long, which drains your productivity. This way, you can keep focused on your important tasks at hand and not get distracted by quickly responding to non-essential email communications.
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