While we work out how to find our own focus and purpose in the workplace, we all know that cell phones, instant messages and email can bring all that focus to a stop. Here are some tricks to get you out of email overload. You can also check out here, here and here.
- Only check your inbox at specific times – this can be hard for some of us, but by setting “work times” and minimizing your email window, you’d be surprised how much you can get done without distractions
- Set up an auto reply – great for when you’re heading into a meeting or a call so that people know when you’ll get back to them
- Turn off notifications – guys. this is the best thing i’ve ever done on my cell phone. not only does it save battery, it means I only get emails when I’m ready to get in the work-zone
- Use an email client – there are several. try: inky, sanebox or mailbox
- Unsubscribe – unroll.me can help you filter out unnecessary emails, and it actually keeps me from spending money (avoiding the SALE emails really helps)
- Don’t always email – phones, they’re a thing. walk on over to your coworker and hash things out quickly rather than a string of emails going back and forth forever
- Write emails in bullet-point format – clear, concise, to the point. you’re more likely to get the answers you need and your point of view across
- Set curfews – remember that your time off of work, is just that, time off of work. it doesn’t count if you’re answering emails at 1am and 5am
- Keep your inbox at zero – there are different opinions on this, but personally, I know keeping emails unread makes me feel a little anxious
- Reply all – only use this when all parties need to know, and be sure to highlight when you expect someone to answer you specifically (otherwise we all glaze over during those long-running threads, don’t we?)
I’m sure there are more tips on how to avoid email overload, but it sure takes up a lot of my day, and some of these tips have really helped me.