When e-mail threatens to overload you and kill productivity, a refresher on organizing may be all it takes to get you back and running at full steam.
Here are three tips that will help with your e-mail management … and maybe your sanity:
- Create a “five-week” folder. Certain e-mails fall into a gray area: You don’t want them clogging up the inbox, but you also don’t want to just click delete. A five-week folder is set to automatically purge e-mails after that amount of time. This is a perfect way to deal with the messages you don’t need long-term but want to hang on to — just in case.
- Check your threads. While it’s instinct to read an e-mail and automatically click the reply button, it can be counterproductive — especially with e-mail threads. Taking the time to scan the whole thread will ensure your response hasn’t already been covered — a time-saver for you and the other recipients.
- Designate set e-mail times. Nothing disrupts a good work rhythm like the sound of annoying e-mail alerts. Turn the e-mail notification off and then take it a step further: Only check your e-mail during set times throughout the day, like 10 am and 2 pm.
It may be difficult at first, but in no time you’ll realize how much more efficient this method is.