It’s Monday morning and your inbox says you have 200 NEW emails! Are you drowning in a flood of emails after each weekend, and especially during the public holidays? Are you struggling to control your emails in what seems like inbox hell?
If you find yourself checking your emails periodically during the weekends, or booking hotels based on the availability of email access on your vacation trips, you need a system to deal with the high volume of email that surge through your inbox daily.
Here’s an efficient way of dealing with email overflow.
1. Write down the number of emails you have received and the time you start this activity. Why? So you can look back at this task and give yourself a victory cheer.
2. Delete anything that’s not important or urgent – spam, newsletters, email notifications, alerts, advertisements etc.
3. Sort emails by conversation and delete all but the most recent emails, say for the last two days.
4. Delete or separate all emails where you’re in the “cc” line. Since you are not the primary recipient, you don’t need to take action on these emails. You can read then later at your leisure.
5. Check time and number of emails again. By this time, you may have cut the number of unopened emails by half.
6. Respond to and delete any email that takes a minute or less. These are the emails where only a one-sentence reply is needed (such as confirming appointments).
7. What should be left are all the important emails that you need to deal with. Take stock and make to-do lists for the next two or three days to deal with them.
And voila! Your email traffic should be back to normal speed.
This excerpt was first published in Glow magazine (Jul – Sep 2012).