Part of our “G.R.I.T. – Give, Recognize, Implement, Time: The path to empowerment and overcoming negativity!” series.
Does this sound familiar?
“I need some time off but I know when I come back I’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of emails waiting for me and I just don’t know if the time away is worth the hassle.”
“I can never get a handle on my inbox because I’m constantly getting more emails and can’t respond to them quick enough.”
If you do, you’re not alone!!!
I remember days on which all I would do was answer emails. Little else got done because one email just kept coming in after the other, adding to the unanswered emails which had already flooded my inbox. However, this was far from the time I could have spent on answering these emails. If not for one key thing, it would have taken at least twice as long to respond to all of these emails.
The saving grace to how I was able to handle the constant influx and demand on my time was organization! I organized my inbox using folders and rules. What that allowed me to do was, with a little time upfront, greatly reduce the time it took me to respond as there was an order to the chaos. Not only did I save time for myself, I also reduced my stress while reducing the stress of others by answering them in a timely fashion.
The problem of having an overflowing email inbox is nothing new; however, it has become even greater of an issue as priorities are changing constantly, we more heavily rely on emails in our remote working environment, and we are overworked. Not to mention that a lot of times we look to our phones to check our email. If we, which most of us do, have multiple email accounts on our phones, we typically see a jumbled mess of the messages in all of our inboxes instead of a nice organized breakdown by account. This simply adds to the sensation of being overwhelmed by our emails, seeing everything at once, without order.
Even with our phones, we have a choice. We can choose to continue to deal with our inboxes the way we are doing so now with the stress that comes with it, or, we can make time now to alleviate time and stress later. It IS within our control, and we ARE capable of doing it!
Let’s create organization and clear away the clutter!
To save time, destress, create greater efficiency, respond more quickly, and not be a bottleneck for others, I used (and still use) folders and rules in my inbox. A folder structure is a great way to create organization and decrease clutter. We can create folders by people (such as the ones on our team), by project, by teams we oversee, by themes, a specialized purpose (such as timesheet reminders), or a combination thereof. There may also be other structures that work well for you, and that’s okay! Do what is best for you. Either way, having a clear and organized folder structure allows to declutter our email, as well as, prioritize how to respond to our emails, knowing which folder(s) take precedence to respond to first.
Once we have a folder structure, we can then set automatic rules in our email to filter messages to the folders. Typically, we can use who the email is from, keywords in the subject of the email, and/or keywords in the body of the email to create rules. For instance, we may create a rule to send all emails from our boss to a folder with their name on it, or, send all emails with a project title in it to its folder.
Taking some time up front to create the rules will declutter our inbox and make it easier to filter through our email, respond timelier, prioritize, and decrease our stress.
Moreover, when we do this, it actually makes it easier for us to check our emails on our phones. Using iPhones as an example, we can back out of the standard “All Inboxes” view to see a list of the email accounts on our phones. When we do that, we have the option to expand each email account to see the folders it contains, including the sub-folders to its inbox. Each folder will have a number associated with it which indicates the number of unread messages, just like we see on our computers.
A small shift in how we setup our email can have a great impact on us, no matter how we view our email!
Are you ready to clear away the clutter from your email? The strength to do so is already within you. Reach within and let it out!
Learn More About G.R.I.T. – Give, Recognize, Implement, Time & Find More Actions You Can Take Right NOW!
To learn more about our signature coaching approach which DOES help people all over the world stay focused, overcome, and achieve, please click here.
In some of our prior posts, we’ve included some easy clear-cut actions you can take right now to help overcome the challenges you are facing. Click on any or all of the links below to dive into easy small wins which lead you to success!
Recognize – Flattening the Fear Curve Part 2
Implement – Flattening the Fear Curve Part 3
Want our help right now with decluttering your inbox?
We’d love to hear from you! Click here to schedule a consultation with us here.
Our Strive For More pledge to you during this time of crisis is:
“To provide free, short, simple, and actionable content to tackle the real challenges we are facing now.”