#Hackyourwork Not to drown in emails everyday

#Hackyourwork: How not to drown in emails!

Emails can take a massive amount of your working time. Learn to be the master of your inbox with these simple tips.

Text: Maiju Karhunen Photo: 123RF

Start your day without emails.

Starting the day with your emails first thing in the morning might not be the wisest thing to do. Why? Because everyone who has sent you an email (most likely) wants something from you. Just browse through your new emails, but do not reply to them unless they are critical. If you want the most important things to get things done, you should do them first and start replying emails a bit later.

Leave your inbox alone.

Researchers have found out that spending too much time on checking emails causes stress. Still people keep on checking their inboxes several times per hour. That distracts them from other things and makes it hard to focus on something for a longer time. Of course, it’s nice if you reply to emails quickly but if there’s something urgent, you can trust that someone will call or text you instead. The least you can do is to opt out from the email notification pop-ups from both the computer and your phone. Yes, it works and nothing bad happens, believe it or not!

Change the strategy.

Email is not always the right way to communicate. If the conversation goes on and on, or there are many unclear things, pick up the phone or set up a meeting.

Avoid double work.

Does this sound familiar: you get an email, read it, mark it unread and decide to get back to it later? By doing that, you are doing double work because you have to open and read the email again. Next time, read the email when you have time to focus on it, decide what to do with it, and move on to the next task.

Say hello to delete.

When was the last time you deleted old messages from your inbox? If your inbox has thousands of emails, it is time to do something about it. Delete emails that are not important so it will be easier to find those that are. If you have enough space, you can save the sorting time also by just moving everything into an archive folder and use search tools to find the old emails you need when the time comes.

Email goals – Zero inbox.

If you manage to change your emailing tactics according to the tips above, you will be very close to getting the ultimate pro-emailer achievement badge – Zero Inbox. This means that your inbox should include only the emails that require action from you and all others are stored in archive to be searched later on.

The #hackyourwork challenge:

Start your workday without reading emails: spend the first hour doing important things before digging into your inbox. Did you get more things done? Were there catastrophes waiting in your inbox while you were doing other things? Share your best tips for efficient email management below!

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