Statistically, the average office worker spends about 47,000 email hours during the career. It may seem an annoying waste of time, but in reality, it is much worse. Email overload often makes you feel like you have a task, but there isn’t enough time or resources to even get started. Looking at the abundance of new letters can cause high blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Let’s study some professional tips that will help you organize the mail flow right.
Step 1. Fight Your Depressing Addiction
Email checking is like an addiction. There are several reasons for this:
- The pleasure hormone dopamine is released in the brain when checking inbox;
- We keep checking our inbox because we are afraid to miss something important;
- We manage emails at first to move forward to more difficult tasks.
Stop feeding your addiction with these useless actions: this time could be spent more effectively. Sometimes, organizing your contacts properly can help a lot: you can import vCard files to Outlook to merge old and new contacts so that you will not have to guess who that person writing to you is. Kevin Cruz, author of “15 Secrets of Time Management: How Successful People Do Everything,” offers several tips to help you reduce your email time twice.
Step 2. Add Managing Your Inbox to the Schedule
Don’t check your email, but manage it. Read and answer your messages just like you do any other job. Plan it, add it to your calendar, and then get started. It is not the amount of time spent working with mail that matters. Some will take three hours a day to read messages, while others will require 30 minutes. The main thing is to approach this task consciously, as to ordinary work. Cruz advises sorting your mail three times a day: morning, afternoon, and evening.
Step 3. Don’t Send Everyone a Copy of the Letter
The fewer emails you send, the less you receive in return. So, try not to put so many people in the copy of the letter. Some people were able to reduce email traffic by 50% when they trained themselves to think twice before sending a new email.
Step 4. Filter Your Messages
Set up filters to put different types of letters in different folders. This way you can only use your time on the essential messages and not be overwhelmed by the rest.
Step 5. Stop Using Your Inbox as a To-do List
Many people send themselves messages with different tasks, turning the mailbox into another to-do list. When you open a new email, ask yourself if you can delete it. If not, consider whether you can delegate it to someone. Alternatively, think if you can deal with it in less than five minutes. Whether not, put the letter aside, transferring it to your calendar, and select a specific date and time when you can check it.