Do you dread opening your email inbox every morning because you know you’ll find yourself fishing through a sea of emails? Do you have trouble figuring out which emails need attention right away and which can wait until later? The typical office employee gets 121 emails PER DAY! It can be overwhelming and exhausting. Fortunately, we have some tips to help you reduce your inbox clutter and (hopefully) make your workday a little easier.
1. Not all emails matter and some require no response
In her book, Unsubscribe, time management expert Jocelyn K. Glei says that, on average, office employees check their email 74 times a day and spend nearly 30% of their workday time on emails. Not all emails need replies: Emails in which you are cc’d on as a courtesy, solicitation emails and company news emails are just a few examples.
“The more frequently you check your email, the less productive you are and the less happy you are.”
2. Categorize your contacts
Help make your emails more manageable by categorizing your inbox into categories. Some examples could be: VIP’s, Key Co-Workers, Family, Randoms. This way you can choose which ones are most important.
3. Pick up the phone
Rather than going back-and-forth several times in an email, pick up the phone and give the person a call. This can be the fastest way to clarify questions or resolve issues – not to mention that tone and language can often be misinterpreted in an email.
4. Set a specific time each day for checking and working on emails
In the Fast Company business article How to Cut Your Email Time in Half, author Stephanie Vozza recommends picking a time to read your emails and sticking to it. Checking emails incessantly is not productive. Schedule this in your calendar like any other task.
“People have to understand that the email problem is largely their own fault.”
5. Try using communication tools such as Skype or Microsoft Teams Chat
If you send fewer emails, you will get fewer emails. Just think of the mass of emails you receive when working on a project with a few people. You could avoid all those email chains by using a chat group. These office tools can be used for collaboration, meetings, video calls, project planning and more.