There you sit in front of your computer tasked with an inbox that never seems to have less than a 1000 emails in it and you are in no mood to try and tackle it without a stiff drink. If this sounds familiar there are three small changes you can make to how you operate in the sea of email that will improve your work-life balance and give you a breather when you need it most.
1. Turn off the pop up in your right hand corner that shows you have new emails and who they are from. When you are working there is nothing more distracting than that little pop up and it takes your focus away from the task at hand. I had an even more embarrassing moment when I was giving a power point presentation at work and the pop up came up during a meeting and everyone in the room saw it read “your job interview has been scheduled.” I could’ve died and my current manager saw it and made mention of it to me afterwards to turn off the pop ups.
2. If you are seriously backed up on mail go through at least today’s mail and right click on any urgent mails and drag them down to tasks. It will ask you if you want to move or copy as a task. I move the email to tasks and assign a date/time to respond to it like an appointment. This gets it out of my inbox and makes sure that I deal with it in the time sensitive manner I should. It’s easy to have an important email get lost in the inbox and this way you’ll always know what to do with it. Be sure to rename the task as something that you’ll understand as sometimes the email topic is too vague.
3. Create folders to store emails that are an fyi that you may need later but aren’t actually actionable. This allows you to find the information at another date if you need it but removes it from your inbox as well to free up some space and let you get to emails that truly are important. Be sure to schedule at least one hour in the morning to go through the inbox and move emails or create tasks so that you can then go back to them later in the day to handle any actions but have them in their proper spot and out of your inbox early on.
Getting out of your inbox and onto projects that make you money is the best thing you can do for your business so follow these steps and find some balance!