Ten Tips to Conquer Email Overload
A few years ago, a report out of McKinsey Global Institute found that workers spend more than a quarter of their day managing their inbox. Perhaps worse, email overload can contribute to increased stress levels, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to take control of your incoming messages and maximize productivity throughout the day.
1. If possible, limit email use (and its interruptive nature) early in the morning so that you can funnel a.m. energy into work projects or other tasks at hand. Instead, designate other times of the day to check your inbox — say, just before lunch and later on in the afternoon.
2. When you do check your messages, reply only if necessary. Is it more efficient to just pick up the phone or walk down to a nearby office? This may be faster and also result in fewer emails back to you.
3. Practice the two-minute rule: If it takes less than 120 seconds to reply to an email, go for it. If it takes longer, save it for your to-do list later on.
4. Earmark some time on Friday afternoon to take care of any outstanding emails that have built up over the week. That way, come Monday, you’ll have a fairly fresh start.
1. Consider keeping multiple email addresses for all things not related to work. For instance, establish one account for personal communication with friends and family, one for online shopping, and one for newsletter subscriptions. In addition to protecting your online identity, this strategy also helps to manage messages faster.
2. Get in the deleting mood and sign up for unroll.me, which can help you remove unwanted subscriptions. Plus, it can consolidate all of your other newsletters and subscriptions and send them in one daily email.
3. For non-essential emails that you’d like review at some point, “sweep” or move them into folders designated by year or month. Then they’ll be out of the way for your current mail and you can always do an advanced search when/if you need them.
1. Practice good habits. Maintaining a clean inbox isn’t just a one-time call to action — you’ll have to execute daily to regularly reap the rewards.
2. Delete, delete, delete. Don’t be afraid to send unnecessary emails to the trash. Even better, utilize the filter function and delete en masse.
3. As a general rule of thumb, always try to see the bottom of your Inbox — that white space is an encouraging visual cue that your inbox is at a manageable size.
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Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professional.This is a paid partnership between Independence Blue Cross and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio