We’ve talked a bit about common email mistakes that we all make, and how to make sure your email won’t get hacked, but what do you do when you simply are receiving too many emails? Many of us enter email overload when we base the bulk of our office communication in emails. That, along with countless CC’ed and forwarded messages can turn a simple inbox into a total disaster. Here are a few quick tips and rules to help manage your inbox and cut down on unnecessary emails.
Determine the Urgency:
When you get an email, you may feel pressure to respond right away, but often times that is just not possible. When you have too many emails to work on at one time, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Who sent it? What is the urgency? Is this email important to the work I will be doing soon? Once you take a step back and evaluate the importance of the email, you can determine if you need to drop everything and work on it right away or if it is something that can wait until you have a second to breathe.
Make Copy Rules:
Often we find ourselves on a long list of people who are CC’ed on an email that pertains little to them. This clogs your inbox and makes you waste time reading things you don’t need to. To stop this, talk to the people you work with, both your superiors and your subordinates, to let them know when you feel like you absolutely need to be included in an email and when you can just be filled in later. This will dramatically cut down on items in your inbox that don’t pertain to you and that you don’t actually need to complete your job responsibilities.
Actually Talk to Your Co-Workers:
If a person is sitting in a cubicle to your right, why do you need to email them? We often get stuck in an emailing rut and don’t take the time to walk over to someone’s desk to discuss something quickly. Instead we send emails back and forth that can get lost in the shuffle. Unless you have something that you need to attach or specific instructions that you co-worker should have on file, try to talk to them instead of just emailing back and forth.
Seems like a no brainer, but this is essential to ending your email stress. Be part of the solution and make sure your emails aren’t ones that are causing people headaches. Make sure to include strong subject lines, bullet points, and be careful when CC’ing or forwarding emails. If you are going to forward, make sure you explain WHY you are forwarding the message and WHAT SPECIFICALLY the receiver needs to look for in the email.
With these quick tips you will be on your way to a less stressful inbox in no time! What are your tips for keeping your email under control?