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Learn | Twelve, November 2014

3 Easy Steps to Tackle Email Overwhelm

full-mailboxHow many of us are living in email jail and wishing we could get parole? Or at least feel a bit less overwhelm when we open our inbox each morning. The following 3 easy steps can be your “get out of jail” free card.


1. Don’t just throw out the junk! We all get them those annoying emails from the latest online store we shopped at. Or the company we downloaded that latest free app from. They clutter up our email like flyers used to clutter our mail boxes. Don’t just throw out the email but deleting it, take a few extra minutes and get rid of it forever, not to return tomorrow, next week or next month. These companies are required to provide you with an “unsubscribe” option at the end of their email. USE THIS. Unsubscribe from their list, remove yourself from their latest sale notice, and get them out of your inbox. If you don’t have time to do this during your work day create a folder in your inbox called…yes you guessed it…“unsubscribe”. The next time you are sitting at the Doctors office waiting to get in, or at your sons soccer game playing on your phone, open up this folder and “unsubscribe”!

2. Quit using your email inbox as your to do list. Stop flagging your emails in your inbox to do later. Stop marking them as read and then unread and then flagging them again, and then sorting them by name or by date or by name again. Get them out of your inbox and into some type of actionable item. What does that mean? Need to do something? Move it to your calendar and create time in your day to take care of the task. Need to save something? File the attachment into your filing system to reference later and then delete the email, you won’t be needing it later. Need to delegate it? Then delegate the email and then create a tracking outside of your inbox if needed. How can I do that? Move the email to a task. Many email programs have their own task pad or to-do area and if you don’t have one with your email provider there are many free task programs on the market.

3. Follow the Rules. All new habits take time to sink in, don’t get discouraged if you continue to fall back into flagging, or sorting or ignoring the email in your inbox, but don’t give up. Set up a few simple rules for yourself and follow them. Set time aside in your day to “process” your email. Not just scan and respond, actually process the email. Move it to your calendar. Save the attachments where they need to go. Use your unsubscribe folder or just unsubscribe to 5-10 emails a day. Whatever your rules are follow them and soon you will start to have less overwhelm and more control over your inbox and maybe collect that $200 dollars waiting for you when you pass go!


- Robbin, Delegate Team Member




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