As a business owner you are more than likely managing more than one email account. At the very least your personal account and your business account.
Those email inboxes can be a mess at times with junk mail, forgotten responses, drafts not sent. We have all been there at one point. There are fortunately a few steps that you can take to cut back on the time you spend in your business inbox (even your personal one for that matter!) and get yourself back on a schedule with free time! Woo! Manage business email overload once and for all.
1. Set time aside and turn off notifications!
Set aside a time each day to look at your inbox instead of paying attention to it all day long. This is my number one tip to manage business email overload. Don’t get easily distracted but rather set aside time to be distracted specifically by emails. A helpful way of doing this is to turn off your email notifications on your cell phone and computer. Then set a reminder to check your inbox at whatever time each day works best for you. That could be different each day, and that’s okay!
Pro Tip – Of course, there are going to be times when you need to get back to emails right away. Setting aside time is for the bulk of your emails, not immediate attention topics.
Eliminating distraction is going to give you the freedom to get other tasks completed without disruption. If you have fallen into the trap of being busy all day but have nothing to show for it at the end of the day read 9 Reasons You Are Busy But Not Productive.
2. Don’t procrastinate or file for later!
While going through your emails don’t wait to respond or stick something in a ‘do it later’ folder. Do it right now! I mean RIGHT now. There is a time and place for folders, but anything that is going to take you a few minutes needs to get done asap! The whole point of setting aside the time each day to look at your inbox is so that you actually have that time to respond. It helps you have more clarity instead of hopping from one thing to the next all day.
If you absolutely must set it aside be sure that you schedule it in your calendar to get back to that email or task. Don’t let things fall by the wayside! That’s one way to get behind really quickly and feel overwhelmed.
3. Optional organizing
There are two types of people. One who likes everything to come all to one inbox and the other who wants things organized into folders. If you don’t like one way, try out another. You may find that organizing your inbox with tags, color coding, and folders helps you keep focused and on top of things. At the very least, try out using color coded labels in your inbox. It makes things much easier to find!
4. Start unsubscribing!
Those emails that we don’t ever read can cause easy distractions. Having to delete them is a wasted step of valuable time. Start unsubscribing when you get an email that you don’t really read or want in the future. Save yourself having to delete the next twenty emails that come from that sender by just unsubscribing right now.
Recap: 4 Ways to Manage Business Email Overload
Don’t let email rule you. Staying organized is not only going to keep you from feeling overwhelmed but you will be more productive. Use these 4 tips to manage business email overload.
- Set time aside and turn off notifications
- Don’t procrastinate
- Start unsubscribing!