1. Create an Email Filing System:
It may seem like an obvious tactic, but this can be an incredibly effective one. Email filing systems are useful, but you need one that doesn’t just prioritize important people, but those people who require action.
Segment the ‘important person’ area into an action area and a non-action area. The emails that require action will always be at the top of your list because they require an answer right that second, whereas the non-action ones can wait until later. This will stop you from spending your time dealing with emails that don’t need to be dealt with right that second.
2. Start Unsubscribing:
The majority of email inboxes are filled with emails from subscription-based services. These are the services where you will receive regular digests from this publication or that publication.
It’s true that most of them are in your inbox for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you should have them clogging up your email inbox up all the time. Unsubscribe from them and create a separate email exclusively for all those newsletters.
This physical separation will make it less likely that you’re going to spend your time reading emails that don’t need to be read.
3. Call a Meeting:
Long email conversations can get time-consuming fast. It’s not uncommon for them to last for days, or even weeks. You need to go out of your way to put an end to this. If you have something you need to discuss in detail, schedule a meeting. Ask them to come into your office.
Despite the fact that you have to go out of your way to set up a face-to-face meeting with someone, you are going to spend less time discussing the issue than you would sending emails back and forth.
You can even call in all relevant parties to make sure that you don’t have to keep everyone else updated on the outcome of the meeting.
4. Clear Your Email Inbox:
Email overload is a real problem and it can take a long time to switch back on after dealing with an email. What that means in practice is that you should make every email you view count. Clearing out your email inbox is the answer to stopping email overload.
Tools like Pyrus are particularly effective at this because it takes every email conversation and puts it onto one line. That means a whole page of emails can turn into just four or five lines. This may be just a small change, but it’s a meaningful one.
The whole idea is backed up by psychology. If you have a full page filled with emails, you are going to panic. It’s more difficult for you to manage everything mentally, which makes it harder to concentrate later.
5. Get Rid of Notifications:
They say that it takes a long time to refocus your mind after reading an email. That’s why you should never attempt to multitask. Multitasking is hard because you’re never truly focused on one thing. Get rid of notifications so you’re never alerted when you’ve received a message.
If anything is urgent, you can easily take a call. Make it clear to your team that during certain hours you won’t be checking your email inbox.
Get rid of notifications and set aside a specific time to check your emails every day. This lack of time will also keep you far more focused because you know that you’re working with a deadline.
Author’s name: Chirag Kulkarni