Some time ago I came across an article by Rebecca Corliss about managing her email inbox. Given my liking for anything that helps people manage their inbox, naturally I was curious to find out how did this. Her article is not available any more but her method is still worth considering.
You may think her method looks a bit complicated. However please stay with her as it is quite simple really.
Each email package will have the ability for you to create a new mailbox folder so while you are on holiday all your email will go into that folder instead of sitting in your inbox. Each package will work a little differently though the process to set up folders and filters will be similar.
You may think “so what” the email is all going to be there still when you get back from holiday.
However the beauty of this little ruse is that when you get back and your inbox starts to fill up with new messages, you can deal with them straight away and know they are current instead of having them at the top of several screens full of email that built up while you were away.
If you also set up an “out of office” message to let people know you’re away they will know not to expect a reply from you. Or you can ask them to contact someone else in the office.
Though it might take a bit to time to set it up in your email package, it will be worth is as it will save you so much time when you get back and you will feel more in control.
As Rebecca says “when I return from vacation, I strategically handle unread emails. … Once the more time-sensitive messages are addressed, I’ll simply allocate a couple hours a day to respond to the remaining emails in this vacations folder. That way, I’m not only back-on-track quickly, but am able to immediately start helping my team without all “email catch up” time getting in the way. No email overload to overwhelm me.
If you would like some help to set up your holiday email folder and filters, let me know and we can work on it together.