Email Overwhelm: Tame the Clutter
How many emails are in your inbox? Are you overwhelmed by what is in there and the constant thread of unread emails you have? Our digital clutter can often be just as, if not more, overwhelming than physical clutter. We live in a time of technology overload, and almost everything we do is always right at our fingertips. That leads to clutter in our digital platforms. Email is one of our primary forms of communication. Since it also serves as our primary tool for people and companies to advertise to us, it is also a place that gets cluttered, and quickly. We don’t even realize how many email lists we are a part of, and often don’t pay attention to how many emails we receive a day. Office workers receive, on average, 120 emails per day (!!!), in addition to our personal accounts. Here are some tips to help minimize the clutter in your inbox.
My inbox currently (and always) has less than 50 emails in it at all times - how is that even possible you ask! Here are my best recommendations to tame that clutter.
Unsubscribe from email lists. Most likely, you don’t read the majority of the emails that come through, stay on the lists for the emails you do read. Nowadays, many lists let you pick and choose which emails you receive. Minimize the emails coming into your inbox, so that each email serves you.
- Filter your emails.
Are there emails that can be filed away without you needing the address them? Are there emails that can be filed away immediately so you can deal with them at a later time? Filtering your emails essentially makes a rule - i.e. all emails from “Mom” go into the “personal” folder; all emails from “verizon” go into “bills” folder.
Delete all emails that need to be deleted. Delete the junk, delete old information, don’t hang on to clutter.
- File emails into folders.
When your emails are taken care of, the task checked off, file the emails into appropriate folders - i.e. bills, loans, personal, school, etc. We know that we need to save some of the things we get even when we’ve completed the task, so take it out of your inbox, minimize the clutter there. Bonus tip: Dependent of the emails you keep - personal or business - you may need to keep everything in your email; if you don’t save the emails as PDF files if they contain important information or are receipts, and file them on your desktop.
- Star emails that need to be addressed.
Either star emails or create a separate “to do” folder in your email - depends on how your email system is set up visually. You ideally want to label them in a way they can be seen almost at all times. Marking your email in this way reminds you of the action you need to take for the email. Perhaps you have to schedule something or are waiting on a document or need to complete something before responding, star it, make it an action item and work towards it. When you’re done, move it to where it belongs!
Need help taming your digital clutter? Contact me today!