Stressed about an overflowing mailbox? Here are some easy tips

There is no work that happens in today’s time, without sending an email. Either we are following up, writing to inquire, responding or plain connecting with an associate, friend or family – it’s the email that always seems handy.

But the side-fall of this easy messenger service is the large dump of messages and mails that get stacked in our accounts and systems. Add to that the junk mails we receive by the dozen every day and what we have is a stressed, frustrated and confused state of affairs.

Is there a better way to manage? Is there a successful mantra that people have applied? A perfect to do list that can easily be implemented?
Here are some solutions.

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Take action NOW
Take action on your emails the moment you read them. Procrastinating or parking it for the future only adds to your debris. If you’re prone to rereading emails, you are already in a state of building up a backlog. Hence, instead of reading new emails and leaving them to be dealt with later, get into the habit of taking action immediately.

Ear mark important emails
There will be times when you have to park emails to be dealt with later. Give them a heading, put a date by when you will respond and ensure your alarm system tells you on that day, that there is pending work. Don’t push it further then.

Use separate boxes
Classification always helps. Distinguish between – external mail, emails where you are CC’d and third, emails that require your direct reply.
This will help in prioritization and hence will help in time management.

Clear ‘yesterday’ today
Confused you? But wait, it has a lot of merit. Start your day by keeping some time aside to clear the top ten mails of the previous day. This will help de-clutter as well as help you close pending matters. It also helps you realize the next day, whether an email is important also or not. Any emails that come in today (unless urgent) are off-limits until at least ten of yesterday’s emails have been dealt with.

Automation when required
Use technology to filter, organise and segregate emails. Use automatic messages when you feel the mail doesn’t need attention or when you are busy, traveling etc.
Keep standard reply emails ready and use the template when required.

Short and crisp
The longer your emails, chances of people reverting with explanations and issues will rise. Hence keep mails short, to the point and brief. This also saves time and effort as also increases the chances of clarity for the other person.


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