The best way to be more productive is through organization and prioritization.
This motto works well in personal and professional lives of every individual. Often, the most cluttered thing is our email inbox, which can weigh us down and make us less productive. Whether it is our lack of interest in opening and reading ALL the emails that we have received or due to signing up at various websites and forgetting to uncheck the box that inadvertently signs you up for spam emails and updates. Whatever the reason may be, one thing cannot be put up for debate – cluttered inbox can be frustrating to manage.
It is hard to stay organized when you have a burgeoning inbox. You may procrastinate clearing up your inbox for a long while, but eventually, the pile will continue to accumulate to a point where you do not even try. In the process, you may miss out on reading an important email, which could even be related to work! Furthermore, some spam emails are a perfect foundation for setting up a phishing attack using clickbait tactics. Hence, the smartest thing you can do is clear your overflowing inbox.
If you are wondering how and where to get started, here is what can help you in your quest:
- Set a specific time for checking emails
Instead of checking your phone all day long whenever alerts regarding a new mail come, you should dedicate a specific time for checking all the new emails. Unless you are expecting an urgent mail, open the inbox only two to three times in a day. Make sure that you are absolutely free during those times.
- Catch up
Going through thousands of unread emails takes a lot of time and patience. If you are willing, then start reading a certain number of unread emails every day. Take some time out of your daily schedule and use it for going through old emails. Delete the ones that are not important. Sooner or later, if you are consistent enough, you will catch up.
- Start fresh
If you do not have the time and energy to catch up, then just start anew. Instead of playing the waiting game and causing the email clogging issue to aggravate, just delete your entire inbox. This may require a massive amount of courage, especially if you are a hoarder, but this will give you a new opportunity to tidy up your email.
Instead of hoarding emails, remove the ones that are unimportant. Delete all the social media notifications, promotional emails, and keep emptying the SPAM folder.
We often end up subscribing to a lot of stuff we do not even care about. Some websites send massive amounts of promotional emails and newsletters, and they end up clogging the inboxes. Therefore, just unsubscribe to all subscriptions you never even open. If you cannot unsubscribe to a particular website, then just block their email.
- Read Emails
If you have unread emails in the inbox, then open them. Do not procrastinate or else the emails will start piling up, and you will never get the time to catch up. After reading the email, bin it if it is not important. Star it if it is very important. If the email belongs to a particular folder, then move it to that folder.
- Reply to emails
Instead of waiting for days to send a reply to an email, just do it now. Some people get hundreds of emails in a day, and they simply do not have the time to respond to each one of them individually. There are apps available now, which analyze the email, and allow the user to select from a couple of auto-generated replies, with merely a few clicks. Google’s Mail app offers three contextually relevant suggestions to choose from as a response to the email.
Harry Williams is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Harry Williams has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.