Do you find it difficult to manage your email?
Looking for ways to shrink the size of your inbox, and keep things reasonable?
In this post, I offer several tips to help you better manage your email.
Set adequate boundaries.
If you want to manage email properly, you must set boundaries.
Otherwise, you’ll just allow the flow of email to rule your work projects and personal life.
There’s an infinite number of boundaries you can set, but what matters most is that they resonate with you and your professional and personal goals.
Here are a few boundary ideas to get you started:
- When to check email. At what time(s) of the day will you check email? What days of the week will you check email?
- When to log off from email. When will you log off so you can focus on working or personal items?
- When to send an email. Is it even necessary to send an email?
Watch those email chains.
It all starts with someone sending an innocent-looking email to a group of people. Days later, that single email has blown up into a lengthy email exchange of 200 messages! While you can’t control the actions of others, you can control your own actions.
Take care not to start, or encourage email chains if you can help it. If you’re part of an email exchange that has gotten out of hand, don’t be afraid to speak up. Offer a more beneficial solution for everyone involved, such as holding an in-person meeting or conference call to resolve whatever issue is at stake.
Set up an email filter and folder for email newsletters, updates, and coupons.
Do you dislike being bombarded with various product, service, or news updates as you’re trying to go through your email? If so, you may want to tuck away those messages in a separate folder. Do some online research to learn how to set up filters in your email program.
Once everything is sorted out, you can check your update folder at your leisure…as opposed to when you’re trying to sort through your work or personal email.
Make use of other communication tools.
Email is used a lot nowadays to communicate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make use of other modes of communication. Some of these tools are a lot more direct than email, plus you can get exactly what you need in a relatively short amount of time. Opt instead for a good old-fashioned phone call, a quick video chat, or take a walk to speak with someone in person.
Stop the flow of emails.
Tired of having to slog through all those miscellaneous emails? Do what you can to limit the amount of stuff coming into your mailbox. Depending on your situation, this may mean unsubscribing from several mailing lists, or updating the frequency of your email updates. You may also want to unsubscribe from app or social media alerts, especially if you’re already logging on to these apps and social media accounts on a regular basis.
How about you? Which of the above tips will you try out over the next few days and weeks when it comes to managing your email? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!