Modern-day applications like Teams and Slack make it seem like email is irrelevant, but if you’re working in the real world, you know email is as much a part of your day as anything else. So, let’s look at some ways to make sure you don’t let that slew of emails you get each day slow down your daily productivity.
Here are 5 tips to tame the beast that is your inbox:
- Don’t obsess – Don’t check your messages first thing in the morning. Instead, get a big to-do off your plate. This will feel awkward at first, but your productivity will soar instantly.
- Stop the disruptions – Hit the off button on your email notifications. It feels like you might miss out if you do that, but anyone with anything urgent for you surely isn’t going to email it.
- Own your time – Plan when you check emails. Don’t just feel the urge. Many productivity-minded leaders set aside 2 or 3 times a day to dedicate their brainpower to answering messages. It’s a good idea.
- Apply the 20/80 rule – Eighty percent of your emails can wait. It’s only 20% that is likely the bulk of your work and demands your attention. Be wary of falling into the trap of spending time on worthless messages just to clean out and support your inbox.
- Click Unsubscribe – You can easily feel like you might be missing out if you stop receiving newsletters from sources you value, but ask yourself when the last time you opened one of those emails. If it’s over a month, ditch them.
- Don’t use only one account – Make sure you separate your personal from your professional. If for some reason you leave your company, you’ll also be leaving your personal things behind. Set up a “newsletter only” account, and you’ll find managing the deluge easier, too.
It might seem like these 6 steps are a long way to go to keep your inbox organized, but if you start with just a few to get started, you’ll likely find yourself feeling much better about your efficiency in no time.