Are you drowning in emails? Hare are 5 ways to get your inbox under control
How many emails do you have sitting in your inbox?
Thousands of thousands??
I know how overwhelming it can be to open your inbox and see thousands of unread emails in your inbox. But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret – chances are, if thousands of unread emails are sitting in your inbox, the majority of those can be deleted. Here’s another secret I’ll let you in on – the fewer emails you have coming into your inbox, the fewer emails you’ll have to filter through.
So, how do you even start getting your inbox organized? Here are 5 things you can do to get started!
Delete those unread emails:
Unread emails are my nemesis. Usually, an unread email is spam or marketing that I’m not actually interested in reading. So, they just get left in my inbox for me to deal with at a later date. Except, then I don’t deal with them and they slowly build up over time, and next thing you know, there’s a thousand of them. Delete them. You won’t miss them, I promise. If you haven’t opened them yet, you won’t. And, chances are, whatever sale or promotion was being marketed is long expired by now. So, go on, click, delete, goodbye!
For many business owners, the summer can be a little bit slower in terms of sales. So, now might be a good time to unsubscribe from any marketing emails you don’t read. It can be a little time-consuming, but limiting the emails that actually make it to your inbox means you have fewer emails to manage. Another thing I do is change any notification settings that send updates to my email, like social media sites. I don’t need those updates coming to my social media platform AND my email. Change your settings in the apps and then delete all those emails too! You might find you don’t have much time to dedicate to unsubscribing to emails, so I like to do this when I have a quick 2 minutes to do something mindless – like waiting in the check-out line at the grocery store or waiting to pick up my kids from school.
Use your folders:
Now that you’ve deleted your unread emails and unsubscribed from your marketing and spam emails, it’s time to sort through the emails that actually matter. Use your folders in a way that makes sense for your business. If you have been in business for some time, you may want to use your main folders as the year and then create subfolders within those years. For example, your folder might be titled “2020” and your sub-folders might be “invoices”, “contracts”, “business expenses”, “client leads”, “training”, etc. Go through your inbox and file each email accordingly.
Sort current emails:
Alright, now we’re down to the nitty-gritty of your inbox. Sorting emails that you are currently working with. I recommend having a couple of “currently working on” folders. An “urgent” folder for emails with a pressing deadline or that you’re currently waiting for a response. A folder titled “follow-up” which contains emails that require a follow-up within the next couple of days but is not a pressing concern. And a “month-end” folder which includes items that need to be completed or followed up with by the end of the month. These folders get emails out of my inbox and prioritizes them in a way that is conducive to business.
Schedule time for your inbox:
Set aside chunks of time daily to check your inbox. Maybe you’ll check it for 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes mid-day, and 30 minutes at the end of the day. Whatever works for your schedule, try to stick to it instead of checking your emails frequently throughout the day. Not only will this prevent you from getting distracted from your other tasks, but you’ll also be able to get through emails more efficiently knowing you have dedicated time. Use this time to write, respond, and sort through your emails. I also recommended setting aside time every week to organize and manage your inbox. Protect this time as if it were a meeting or appointment. I like to do it at the end of the week so I know I’ll be organized for Monday!
Setting up a system to manage your inbox might seem like an overwhelming task, but I promise, once you find a system that works for your business, you’ll never look back. Your unruly inbox will be a thing of the past!
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