Do you ever look up at the end of day only to feel like you’ve spent every waking hour managing your inbox? You get through one email only to realize two or three more now need your attention. It’s a feeling that can leave you defeated and frustrated.
There has to be an easier way to manage this! For every career person dealing with this issue, there’s also a theory on how to fix the problem. Some professionals swear by certain methods or apps, and the amount of articles and opinions on the problem can be overwhelming when you start searching.
We went ahead and did the research for you and compiled a list of the most helpful tips we could find.
Respond Immediately, If Possible
This may sound stressful, but hear me out. Most likely a good percentage of the emails you receive merit a quick, short answer which you already have composed in your head when the initial emails shows up. If this is the case, go ahead and take care of the email and check one small thing off your list. Consider it low-hanging fruit.
“Yes, that sounds great!”
“I still plan to attend”.
“I’ll have that presentation ready by Friday.”
Label & Organize
Folders, subfolders, labels, flags – there’s nothing better when it comes to inbox management. Go about organizing whichever way makes sense to you and use the “delete” button liberally. An inbox taken over by clutter can be overwhelming and causes important things to get lost in the chaos. Categorizing allows important information to be “out of sight, out of mind” but also accessible should you need to refer back to an email in the future.
Use the Phone Occasionally
We’ve become so accustomed to relying on email we’ve forgotten some things are best taken care of using other forms of communication. Often a long email chain can be avoided by picking up the phone and verbally explaining what you need. If you think your email is going to require a lot of follow up questions go ahead and eliminate headache and save time by giving the person a call.
We’ve all ended up on a million email lists and receive tons of junk email throughout the day. While it doesn’t take up much of our time to hit the delete button when it comes through, the junk email adds to the clutter and frustration of our inbox and makes it easier to miss the important emails. Take a few minutes to sort through those emails and unsubscribe.