Technology makes it so easy to communicate that we send electronic messages more than we hold actual conversations. Half of the stuff we see in our inboxes—adds, jokes, funny photos, electronic greetings, one word replies—are things we would probably never share if it wasn’t so easy to do at the push of a button. So how do we not let the Land of “You Have Mail” take over our entire day? Develop a plan of attack. Apply these strategies and soon you’ll win the battle of email overload.
- Have separate accounts for specific purposes. Have one email address just for public use. Use it for signing up for newsletters and contests, making reservations, and promotions that are sent to you three times a day. Let this be the place non-urgent material can sit. Then you only have to check it every few days. Many to delete the junk that is delivered here. Have a separate one for personal and/or work purposes.
- Unsubscribe. If you make an online reservation, as soon as you are done, the first ad you get from them unsubscribe. It’s like being on the national “do not call “list. Get your email out of their system. Pay attention to the details when you do unsubscribe and make sure you delete your info from all solicitations and updates. You may have to check several boxes to be completely removed.
- Designate a time for checking emails. Set aside a time every day to go through your emails. 10-20 minutes is suggested. First do a once over and delete junk email, update your calendar with info on upcoming events, reply to those that need only a quick response. Then DELETE. This will visually make it less overwhelming.For those emails that require a response that will take some time to formulate or requires you to gather information, reply the next day during your daily check in. Prioritize by deadline, importance or whom it is from.If one check-in a day is not enough set aside time in the morning and afternoon to check your email. Don’t use every spare minute or that’s all you’ll be doing.
- You don’t have to respond to everything. This is especially true if it’s just to say, “Thanks,” or “I got it.”
- Split screens save time. Set up your inbox with a split screen so you can see the contents without even opening it. It saves a step and allows you to delete on the spot unimportant mail.
Use these tips to make emails manageable. Then you will see the benefit of using them as the tool they were meant to be.
© The Uncluttered Teacher
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