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6 fast suggestions for cleansing up a runaway inbox

August
21, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

It happens to all of us: Your emails are gradually piling up into a jumbled jenga-like mass. With all of the subscriptions, newsletters, personal messages, spam, and business emails that you choose to address, the rest falls on you. You are also guaranteed to receive just as much the next day …

Why bother?

Believe it or not, this is a perfectly normal problem. The average person receives 68 work-related emails in their inbox every day, most of which require a response.

Not only is the number of emails you receive taxed, but the time you spend going through them is also taxed. Employees spend up to 13 hours a week dealing with their email overload. In a survey of 3,200 employees, one in five respondents stated that they wasted the most time on emails. Fortunately, this problem has a solution.

You can clean up your inbox and be more productive by implementing these six handy tips:

1. Ignore the submission completely.

Many believe this is a handy way to organize their emails, but for the majority who receive more than a hundred emails a day, it quickly becomes a tedious process. The time spent setting up and managing folders could be more effectively spent addressing those emails that require an immediate response.

Using the folder system to organize and find email wastes 14 minutes a day. The time you previously wasted scrolling through emails in your inbox has now been carried over to the time you wasted scrolling through folders looking for emails.

In other words, it's pointless.

Related: 4 Tips to Better Manage Your Email Inbox

2. Two words: archive.

Have you read an email and don't want to delete it but don't want it to stay in your inbox?

Archive it. This is an easier and faster alternative to creating folders. Archiving not only allows you to remove an email from your inbox and save it in an accessible location, it also allows you to divide your inbox into just two groups: unread (new emails) and urgent (emails that have an immediate response need).

Now you can find a specific email much faster than sorting through a ton of nonsense.

3. Develop your search skills.

Use the search option to find specific emails. This significantly reduces the waste of time.

Try looking for the sender of the email. A list of all this person's emails will be displayed in seconds. Don't you remember who sent it? Searching for keywords will redirect you to any email that addresses that subject. Do you only remember the attachment that was in the email? You can also search for it by entering the file type: PDF, JPEG, PNG, Docx, Pages, Zip, etc.

4. Stop using e-mail as a to-do list.

Using email for task management can be a major culprit of out of control inboxes. Addressing the problem of networking e-mail and tasks, Alexandra Samuel notes: "If you combine the management of e-mails and tasks, the task of communication – reading and replying to your messages – is blocked by all e-mails, you leave them in your inbox so you don't forget to speak to them. This approach also makes managing your to-do list problematic: when you need to quickly identify the right task that you want to take on next, nothing slows you down like diving into your inbox to scroll through old messages. "

Not only is it time consuming to switch back and forth between email and your job, but it can allay the desire to be productive. Plus, it's already wasting enough time browsing emails in your inbox. So why bother adding fuel to the fire?

Simply put, email should only be used for communication and communication.

By separating e-mail and task management, productivity in the work environment can be increased by allowing employees to concentrate on the respective task.

5. Unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists.

First of all, unsubscribing is not the same as deleting. Deleting email from subscribed lists is like trying to remove dust: once you clean it up, it will come back up.

Everyone made the mistake of signing up for too many lists. Take some time to clear lists that you think are unnecessary. If you're not sure whether to unsubscribe from a particular list, do it anyway.

If you don't have the time to decide on a subscription, you can speed up the process by using the unsubscribe services. For example, UnrollMe is a safe and efficient app that filters through your inbox, shows a list of all your subscriptions and gives you the option to unsubscribe immediately – all with one click. This will go a long way in cleaning up your inbox and clearing up future clutter.

Related: 5 Rules for Taking Control of Your Inbox

6. Clean up a little.

After you have opted out of receiving future irrelevant emails, you can turn your attention to removing the older emails that are blocking your inbox.

Go through your inbox and delete anything older than 30 days. If you're not sure whether to keep or delete an email, just archive it so you can refer to it for future reference.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding things is seeing the fruits of your labor: enjoying the cleanliness of a room that has just been completely discharged, for example. The same applies to emails.

Email is one of the most important tools in any entrepreneur's tool belt. A runaway inbox can do more damage to your business than most people think. It is crucial for the success of your company that your inbox is always clear and clear.

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