Why: Emails clog up not only our inboxes, but our minds as well. Emailing is helpful when you need to quick contact someone about something. But then… do you get stressed when you realize you have 10 emails you need to reply to, but only have 10 minutes? Do you have emails you have not replied to and if you do, it is almost embarrassing when you send it because it has been so long? It is time to take control of your emails and of your time!
1. Decide: You probably have an idea of how long it will take to respond to an email from a certain somebody. If it’s your boss, you probably know. If it’s a friend, it may take a little longer. Typically you know what the email may be about. Here are some questions to think about:
- What emails can I answer right now?
- What emails will take about 1 minute?
- What emails will take more than 5 minutes?
- What emails require a lot of time?
2. Answer the ones you can quickly answer, every time you open your email. Don’t let it just sit there. Deal with it, send it, and be done with it.
3. Those that require a few minutes, find a time in your day (maybe on your break) to deal with these. Set aside roughly 15 minutes. They often don’t take too much thinking, so again, just deal with them and be done.
4. Those that require a lot of time. This is where it is important to set aside time each day to email. You may think “I don’t have time.” That may very well be true, but this person is waiting for a response. Either call them to make it quicker or take the time to email them. Or send them a quick email to let them know you received it and will respond more in depth later. I think it is important to acknowledge the emails you get – especially if you plan on taking a few weeks to get back to them.
How to control the email clutter?
1. DELETE the ones you responded to. Remember, if they send you another email, it will come back with the other emails attached (typically). If there is important info you need to keep from the email, write it down and delete the email.
2. UNSUBSCRIBE from the places you no longer want to receive emails from. It takes opening the email and hitting the “unsubscribe” word at the bottom of the email, but it is so worth it! Take the time.
3. Put the correct filters on your email. Also, you often have a choice to “block” more emails from a certain person/company. If you do not choose to unsubscribe, just “block” them – though, often spammers find other ways to get around blocks I think. That is why unsubscribing is important.
4. Create another email account for those businesses/companies that require an email address. For example, if you have an amazon.com account, create another email so that when you get emails from them, they go to a more “general” email. Plus, the general email is often more quickly to get hacked into, so it is not as big of a problem if it does because it doesn’t effect my personal account. Personally, I have a personal email account, but I also have a general email account, that I use for online accounts or confirmations from places I have ordered something. The general account, I only check about once a day (if that). By having this type of account, it keeps spammers out of your personal email and keeps those truly important emails separate from the not-so-important
5. Lets face it – seeing an empty email inbox is a beautiful thing! That means you are all caught up!
Confession of the Day: I am one of those people who loves to see an empty inbox. I sometimes would hang onto emails for over a week, and everytime I opened my email, I would be reminded of what I DIDN’T do. That is not a very “positive” way to live. I like to think about what I’ve accomplished, rather than the latter. An email needs to be answered sooner or later – why not just answer it now? Also, having that second general email account has been a WONDERFUL choice! I would highly suggest this! Live with even FEWER emails so that we can continue to live with less!