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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Conquer Email Overload!

Are you suffering from e-mail overload?  I know I sure am!  On one hand I appreciate the convenience and effectiveness of communicating via e-mail. However, it can also absolutely suck the life out of you and has been known to drown many.  If you are the one communicating via e-mail, it can especially be frustrating when you need responses and your inquiries go seemingly ignored.  Chances are, the person on the receiving end is suffering from overload, especially if they have not set up an out of office reply and you still get no answer.  Or, they could just be ignoring you, but that's for another blog ;).  If you use e-mail for work, chances are you are not that thrilled to catch up on the onslaught of personal e-mails on your breaks or when you are home for the evening or weekend.  A while ago I posted about mastering e-mail management.  Keeping on top of your e-mail takes maintenance.  In addition to the mastering e-mail management tips I have wrote about before, you may need to boost with these 2 actions as well:

1)  Unsubscribing Sprees:  Getting to many advertising e-mails hitting your inbox?  Even if you designate 1 account for sites you buy from, those pesky ad e-mails can still sneak in to your other accounts.  Some services like Gmail have great filters which catch those ads.  You can also designate a week where you focus on unsubscribing.  Every time you check an e-mail that's an ad, click on unsubscribe, which usually is at the bottom of the e-mail.  I'm in the middle of one of those weeks now.  It's amazing what a difference this makes!  You can also try a service like unroll.me - a free service that cleans these e-mails out of your inbox. 

2)  The Big Cleanout:  Every once in a while I also have to declare a "Big Cleanout" time.  I delete a ton via rapid-fire deletion, starting in reverse chronological order.  If I haven't taken care of it or read the low priority item that I thought I would "look at later,"  it's just not going to get done.  Get rid of those now!  This is a good time to reevaluate your folders that you file e-mails you want to keep.  Are all folders currently relevant to your life?  If not, get rid of those too.  Once your cleanout is done, give yourself a time limit to process any e-mails that are left - respond, delegate, file, or delete!