Today’s digital world bombards us with communication from every side. We still have regular old United States Post Office mail currently delivered Monday – Saturday. We have email from multiple email addresses. We get direct messages from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media network to which you belong. We have instant messages, online chats, home phone and office phone voicemail systems, smartphones, texting, desktops, laptops, and iPads. Is it ever going to end? Probably not!!
Each of these communication forms may be linked to an email which clutters our inbox and our life. Here are 11 tips which have helped me manage the process:
- Batch process similar emails by sorting your inbox by subject or sender.
- Use filter settings to send emails which do not require your immediate attention directly to the appropriate subject folder.
- Eliminate unwanted information by using the unsubscribe process. Scroll to the very bottom of the unwanted email and click on the link. It is amazing how many times we just delete or mark as spam.
- Process email at scheduled block times throughout your day. Time block mean at has a beginning and an end. If you do not limit this time, it will consume your day!
- Consider turning off incoming email alerts (visual and audio prompts) because it interrupts your focus.
- Retain copies of all sent emails by simply adding a bcc to yourself.
- Avoid reading or sending emails during family time. This nasty habit sends a loud and clear message to your family that they are not as important as your work.
- Limit emails to a single subject for ease in the email filing process.
- Use descriptive subject lines with file name and a sub-topic to avoid the hide-and-seek game when you later try to locate a specific email.
- Use HIGH PRIORITY in the subject line on matters requiring immediate attention.
- Carefully review email alert settings for all social networks to eliminate emails which simply clutter your inbox.
Ironically, I learned some of these tips by – you guessed it – reading email!
Have a great weekend!