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How to Get Control of Your Email Inbox

  • How to Get Control of Your Email Inbox-

    Snooze Emails Until You Are Ready

    What do you do with an email that you do need to act on, but not right now? If you're like most people, you probably leave that message in your inbox, possibly even marking it as unread. This causes you to look at it (i.e., spend time and focus on it) over and over. A much better way is to move it out of your inbox.

    If you ever receive an email that isn't actionable at that specific time, get it out of your inbox. Remember, triage. We're talking an itinerary for a trip months from now, directions to your friend's wedding next year, or an email you want to follow up on tomorrow, but not today. These messages are irrelevant until the time you need them, at which point they become incredibly important, so snooze them.

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How to Get Control of Your Email Inbox

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  • How to Get Control of Your Email Inbox-7

    Snooze Emails Until You Are Ready

    What do you do with an email that you do need to act on, but not right now? If you're like most people, you probably leave that message in your inbox, possibly even marking it as unread. This causes you to look at it (i.e., spend time and focus on it) over and over. A much better way is to move it out of your inbox.

    If you ever receive an email that isn't actionable at that specific time, get it out of your inbox. Remember, triage. We're talking an itinerary for a trip months from now, directions to your friend's wedding next year, or an email you want to follow up on tomorrow, but not today. These messages are irrelevant until the time you need them, at which point they become incredibly important, so snooze them.

Email has been likened to zombies: The more you delete (or kill), the more come to get you. Just about every professional today struggles to stay on top of email. According to a McKinsey study, U.S. employees spend 28 percent of their workweek on email, and research from the University of California, Irvine indicates that email overload can elevate stress levels and reduce focus. Add in the chaos of the modern inbox and important messages can easily get lost in the shuffle -- only 6 to 7 percent of emails actually receive a response.

Email is an integral part of working, but for far too many workers, it hurts rather than helps their productivity. They spend so much time communicating that it is difficult to get into a flow and get actual work done. Keeping email overload at bay and optimizing your inbox requires honing specific skills and developing a strategy so you control your email, rather than letting it control you.

In the following slideshow, SaneBox has identified six tips for overcoming email overload, achieving inbox zero, and boosting your productivity.