Applications like Slack can lead some to believe that email is a thing of the past. However, if you’re like most of us, there are still plenty of messages jamming up your inbox on a daily basis. And it can not only slow down your workday, but can be a bit of an energy drain on your brain.
Here are 4 ways to start conquering and managing your inbox today:
- Ditch Notifications – Social media has ingrained the “fear of missing out” so deeply into our psyche that we feel an important email may slip by us if we don’t react to every ding sound our phone makes. Liberate yourself and turn off your business email notifications.
- Schedule Replies – Taking #1 a step further. Not only is there usually not a sense of urgency to every email you receive – let’s face it, someone would call or text if it was super urgent – but doing yourself a favor and setting aside time twice a day on your calendar to check and respond to email not only helps reduce multitasking, it allows you to be calm and collected and to reply in a thoughtful way without being rushed because you’ve scheduled the time.
- Do Email Second – Taking this whole re-prioritization even one step beyond. What if you knocked out the first to-do on your list for the day before you answered one single email? What might that do for productivity? Instead of letting others intrude instantly on your morning, get something done first, then see what messages await.
- Stop Subscribing – It’s very likely you’re habitually deleting newsletters from sources and services you think are important to hear from, yet you never open a single one of them. Be unforgiving. Spend some time one day this week before you log off for the day and unsubscribe from anything you haven’t opened in the last 3 months. You’ll love the feeling of letting go.
Some of these may not be easy to do at first, but once you see how much your productivity soars once you do, you’ll never look at your inbox the same way again.