We know that email messages build up without us even noticing – until the inbox gets full or someone asks why we haven’t replied to an email that sought a response. We look at the number of messages and gasp, then leave it all because it’s too hard to even think about dealing with all those messages.
I got a newsletter recently suggesting that we deal with email in the days before Christmas when people had some down time at work. That sounds like a great idea – but will only work for those who actually have some downtime in the madness that is pre-Christmas.
I knew that my email was getting out of hand in December. However at the time I was busy and I simply dealt with those messages I needed to deal with and left the mess till last week. For me it made more sense and less stress to wait till my down time in early January.
When I got to it, I only took one hour to get my inbox down from several hundred to four messages. What a great feeling. My inbox is under control and manageable again. For now anyway.
Spending an hour at one time is totally against what I preach (Definitely a case of “do what I say, don’t do what I do!”).
It is much more sensible to reduce the size of your inbox by dealing with it in 15 minute blocks. That way you won’t get bored, fed up or end up deleting messages that really should be actioned first or even saved for future reference.
Make a date with yourself – 15 minutes a day, in your diary – until your email inbox is under control.