How do you manage your email inbox? Do you know that the average office worker spends 13 hours per week on emails alone? A typical business professional sends and receives 122 emails daily. With those numbers, there is no doubt why you feel like managing your inbox is all you do.
How to manage your email inbox
To avoid going crazy about your emails, apply housekeeping and organization to your inbox.
Like every time you want to use 5S, start sorting out the messages you don’t need. Browse your email on the lookout for promotions and subscriptions. Sometimes you subscribe to a digital newsletter or give away your email address to obtain some information. You are not interested in keeping the subscription anymore but never unsubscribe from it. Go ahead and unsubscribe now, do not touch that email more than once! Do the same thing with promotions that you don’t want to receive anymore. Identify spam emails and put them in the spam folder immediately.
Set in order and clean your inbox
While you browse for emails, make a list of those that you receive periodically and need to keep. Think about customers, suppliers, invoices, and your team. To set in the order, you have to prioritize and categorize your messages. Create categories like my team, finances, insurance, customers, and suppliers. You do not have to go through all your emails, but make sure you include your most frequent contacts.
To shine or clean your inbox, archive or delete emails as you go. Make a routine to read your emails during certain times of the day. Reading emails every five minutes is a productivity killer. For example, I read emails in the morning as part of my routine to create or revise my agenda. Later, before lunchtime, I check again and then before going home. Be open about your process, ensure that your key people know it. This way, if they need your attention, they will text or call.
Standardize how you manage your email inbox
Now is time to standardize your email inbox. Use the contact list you build to create and assign categories to your contacts. With Outlook and Gmail, you can create color-coded categories or filters based on certain criteria. Also, you can assign priorities. For example, invoices have high priority, but digital newspapers are a low priority. Change your email settings, so incoming emails go straight to the appropriate folder or have the right label.
To ensure your inbox is under control, create rules to sustain the tidy state. Daily, as you check your emails, decide what you need to do with the information received. Create tasks or events using the message and then archive or delete. Establish a frequency to revise your emails looking for contacts that need to be categorized or are not relevant anymore.
Your email inbox does not have to drive you crazy. Stop the insanity and 5S your inbox!