Unruly inboxes are a common problem in the world of modern business and can cause added stress, whilst stifling your creativity and pulling your focus. If you are suffering from e-mail overload, try some of our top tips for a healthy inbox!
Deal with difficult e-mails in the morning
Try as we might, productivity levels and self-discipline can decline over the course of a long working day.
With this in mind, try using the morning to deal with e-mails that require greater levels of creativity or concentration. E-mails that require more simplistic responses can then be addressed during the afternoon, when productivity levels are typically lower.
Remember that not every e-mail necessitates a response
Whilst it would be great (and very polite!) to have the facility to respond to every e-mail, remember that your working time is – and should be – limited: don’t feel obliged to respond to all speculative e-mails.
Not every e-mail is urgent
Step away from your device! Remember that only 5-10% of e-mails are urgent, so there is no need to keep checking them outside of working hours or when you are away from the office.
Publicise your e-mail routine
If it is operationally possible, adopt a system of checking your inbox only at set times during the day. Let your colleagues know your schedule to give them an idea of when to expect a response.
And finally – accept that your inbox will never be empty
Remember that an empty inbox is not a true measure of productivity – your inbox will never be empty, and that’s ok!