Email organizing tips | 5 signs to look for
Email organizing tips are helpful if you want to be more present and less tied to your phone or computer. How do you know if you need help? Here are my 5 signs that will signal that it is time to declutter and organize your email:
- The number of emails unopened in your inbox creates stress and overwhelm.
- Unopened emails result in missed deadlines, financial penalties and fees, loss of credibility with others, and poor self esteem.
- The total number of emails (opened and unopened) in your inbox is excessive and causes further procrastination.
- There is no systematic way that you act upon emails and/or organize them.
- You experience difficulty retrieving important emails when you need them.
Email organizing tips | 3 goals
Email organizing tips should address 3 general goals:
- Create practices that you can sustain
- Establish systems that make sense to you
- Reduce overwhelm and procrastination
Email organizing tips | declutter, check daily
Email organizing tips you can use to get started to declutter and check your email more efficiently. NOTE: Estimated amount of times will vary depending upon how full your inbox currently is.
- Declutter your inbox on a daily basis. That means scan and act on emails in an efficient and timely way. 3x/day
- Unsubscribe on a weekly basis from emails you don’t read or need. NOTE: Unsubscribing may take a few tries but it is eventually more efficient than deleting distracting emails every day. 15 minutes/week
- Check email mindfully. How often do you check your email? If your honest answer is too often, mindlessly, and out of sheer boredom it’s time to break the habit. Try setting an alert to check email 3x/day. 3 minutes, 3x/day
- Use the 1st time slot to check only or respond quickly.
- Use the 2nd time slot to respond only,
- Use the 3rd time slot if you need longer than 3 minutes to respond to an email you can mark it as unread and go back to it when you have that amount of time. the 3rd to do both, as needed.
- 2 minutes per email: Limit how long you spend reading or responding to each email.
Email organizing tips | Responding to, creating emails
Email organizing tips should create short cuts for clear, concise responses and sending emails.
- If you can respond to an email in 3 minutes or less do so immediately.
- If it takes longer than 5 minutes to respond to an email, call the person instead whenever possible. You can send a brief summary of the call afterwards to document what was agreed to.
- Limit emails to 1 topic per message whenever possible. Emails are intended to be succinct.
- Use the subject line to indicate what the reader needs to do. Here are 2 great resources: The Hamster Revolution, and Declutter Your Inbox
Email organizing tips | Organizing emails you keep
Email organizing tips should help you to minimize the number of emails that you need to keep:
- Most importantly, DO NOT use your inbox to keep emails for future reference.
- Create folders in broad categories for emails that need to be kept for reference at a later time.
- Purge email folders on a regular basis, at least monthly.