Do you feel like the hamster and the wheel is your email inbox? That no matter what you do you can never seem to catch up?
There are some quick and easy sorting techniques you can use to de-clutter your inbox and not miss anything.
First: Think of your inbox as your current working space. Now you certainly wouldn’t be able to physically work with a thousand pieces of paper in front of you, would you? I know this is going to throw many of you into a tizzy, but you should only have in your inbox emails from within the last 12 hours max! I’m going to come back to this when your mouth closes.
Second: Your send/receive settings should be manual so that you decide when you get email into your inbox. The other benefit to that is there’s no panic if you want to check outgoing emails one last time for content and/or tone, you can.
Third: Sort emails into other folders, but handle quick responses during the sort.
There are 4 categories (folders you should create) to keep in mind when sorting:
- To Read: Newsletters, ezines, etc.
- Action Items: Things that can’t be answered quickly and/or require a more thoughtful response.
- Stays in Inbox: Emails that require urgent attention.
- Delete: Everything else!
Ok, is your mouth closed now? Anything that’s urgent shouldn’t be sitting in your inbox for longer than 12 hours. These tips will not only help streamline your email processes, but enable you to be more productive during the workday and not dread what’s waiting for you in your inbox.