Do you know how much time you spend each day managing your inbox?
One aspect of life that we are all dealing with is email productivity. Based on data available on Email Management Time by Job Category, very few workers are spending “no time” managing email, while a significant number are spending more than an hour each day.
What could accomplish with an extra hour each day? And what does it take to break free from email overwhelm? A lot of that depends on your email archetype.
The ways in which we interact with our email are as different as our personalities! How do you use your email? Do you use it as your file management system or is it more of a black hole for useless information? If so, you are likely an email "filer" archetype. Do you have 5 unread emails in your inbox or 100? If you're looking at the larger number, you may fall into the archetype of "email hoarder." Do you go through phases of increased email productivity only to see your systems fall apart when things get really busy at work? If so, you may be a hybrid between an email hoarder and a filer.
Being aware of your email personality will help you know what to look out for as barriers to breaking free from email overwhelm.
If you are, like many of us, overwhelmed by what lives in your inbox – day in and day out – consider spring cleaning. Yes, the same process you use to clean out your closets will work in your inbox as well.
- As you go through your emails, decide what is important to keep. Then, commit to a system of filling that works for you.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Or create an archive of your inbox on a regular basis.
- If you have tasks in your inbox that can be delegated appropriately, do so – without delay.
For many of us, our to-do list is our email inbox. In this scenario, have you stopped to consider how items get on your to-do list? In essence, all of your co-workers, managers, friends, family and even strangers with access to your email address are able to add to your to-do list by the hour. No wonder our days are busier than ever – and sometimes feel less productive than ever as well!
In the steps below, you’ll learn some actionable ways to rethink your to-do list and gain control over the priorities of your day using the Five Habit of Email Happiness.