Emails are distracting. If you are an active professional, chances are you are used to checking your mail every few minutes or distracted from whatever task you are doing by the telltale ping of an email notification.
The good news, you are not alone in this predicament. Most employees check their inboxes at least 11 times a day and some of them check it even more. The bad news, this is a distracting time-suck of a habit that offers nothing by way of productivity.
Fortunately though, there are a few email management tips to help you manage your overflowing inbox better.
Yes, this is a basic tip. But if you havent done it as yet, do it now! Gmail allows you to sort you email into filters that act like sorting trays. Use that facility to filter your email into labels like important, promotional, social etc. Once you drop an email into a label, all emails from that ID will automatically come to that filter. That way, you don’t need to be bombarded with multiple emails at the same time that clog your inbox. And you will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Set Up Email Slots
This is where you have to be firm with yourself. Give yourself certain time slots during the day where you check and respond to emails promptly. The idea is to check your email 4 to 5 times a day only, as opposed to 11 times or more.
While all emails are not important, in the same manner, all emails are not unimportant either. You get to decide which email is important and which is not. Emails from colleagues, consumers etc probably have their own hierarchy of urgency. So attend to those emails accordingly. You don’t have to clear out your inbox at one go. But what you do need to is attack that inbox in stages. Deal with your important mails first, and leave the other mails for later one, when you need a breather from work.
Junk Mail is Still Junk
Sometimes we sign up for information, newsletters etc which are relevant for that period of time, but not after. One question you need to ask is do you really need to be subscribed to so many things? In fact, you don’t. Unless your subscription is paid, which is another thing all together. But for the most part, most promotions are junk mail that you don’t really need. Get into the habit of ruthlessly unsubscribing from the mails you do not want. If you need those emails or information again, no worries, you can sign up again.
One of the coolest things about Gmail is that is allows you to add a lot of email plugins, most of which are aimed at improving productivity. Lifehack has collated a bunch of plugins here that people have found useful. Pick and choose and streamline your email experience.
Got any more email management tips on how to tackle that bloated inbox better? Then share your thoughts in the comments section below!