Email Overwhelm

Each day, the avalanche of emails keeps coming. It’s overwhelming, but you have to deal with all these important communications. Unfortunately, you can’t just select and delete them all.

Since email is essential to any business, you have to develop some strategies for handling it in an organized manner and eliminating the feeling of overwhelm.

Schedule blocks of time for email just like any other task, and only handle related issues at those times. You might choose to schedule several blocks per day, such as early morning, late morning, after lunch, and end-of-the-day. Decide based on your schedule and when you receive important emails.

Use the filtering features your email service provides. You can filter out mass emails, organizational messages, sales, and messages where you’re only cc’d. You can then go back and look at your mass email folder when you have time after you’ve gone through important direct messages.

Don’t be afraid to delete things that are unimportant, like announcements and newsletters. Ask yourself, “Do I ever need to see this again?” If the answer is no, get rid of it. This will help to declutter and save you storage space.

You have a great deal of replies to make but they’re not all equally important. First, don’t reply to mass messages where you’re just cc’d. If someone has sent you multiple messages, send one “thank you” reply, not one for each.

One idea is to create a “To Reply” folder and put emails in there to deal with later. That way, you can read everything first and know what’s going on, and then start replying. You can also prioritize or tag within this folder in order of importance.

Make use of any tools and features your email service offers. There might be things like templates and automatic replies that can help you trim some time here and there.

There are times when it’s better to call someone than send an email. Some issues can be resolved more quickly by having a direct conversation. When there’s some back-and-forth, pick up the phone and you can cut down on inbox traffic. Trust me!

Remember that the whole purpose is to make checking and dealing with communications smoother, simpler, and more efficient. Use a few simple tools that help you cut down on time.