One of the best ways to get control over your email is to keep your inbox as empty as possible. Here are three simple techniques to help conquer the email mountain.
Don’t leave old emails hanging around longer than you need to. Respond right away and then file the email in a suitable folder. If you can get through every single thing in your inbox by the end of each day, you’ll see your overall productivity increase rapidly in all areas.
It’s also a good idea to keep your email in folders instead of leaving everything in your inbox. If you have a few hundred messages – or a few thousand – it will slow down your email and it will take longer to do even the simplest tasks.
Delete what you don’t need
There’s really no need to keep every single email you receive. That conversation about where to go for lunch? Those hilarious pictures from your co-worker that you’ll never look at again? The reminder to submit your expenses? The email telling you there’s a package for you in reception? Just delete them. They’re taking up unnecessary storage space and making it harder for you to find the saved emails you do need.
Many businesses now insist that one day a week, staff are not permitted to use email to contact one another. Email is still okay for external contacts, but for internal messages, use a phone, or speak to each other directly. Mark Wilson, CEO of Atlanta-based Verifile, says that this results in a “happier workforce that communicates better.” It also helps to avoid “endless, time-draining email chains” and reduces miscommunications.