Organization 101 – Lesson 2: Managing Your Inflated Inbox
In this article we tackle a big source of stress… The inflated email inbox!
1. Write efficiently
Always try to be precise and to the point when answering emails - without sacrificing clarity or basic courtesy, of course. You can also save time by copy-and-pasting relevant parts of past messages. No one will notice, don’t worry…
2. Folders are your best friends
I personally create folders for everything: paper folders for hard copies, digital folders for soft copies. Everything gets its own place. Folders can even be used to separate work that needs to be done right away from less urgent projects.
3. Do it NOW!
Emails that stay in your inbox for more than a few days will often end up staying there for much longer. This then forces you to write an uncomfortable "I'm so sorry to get back to you so late" message (we’ve all been there).
My rule is: if an email is opened, it must then either be a) replied to, b) filed away, or c) deleted. And if I can’t act on one of them right away, I always make sure to keep it marked as “unread” – just to keep the pressure on...
4. Tomorrow is another day
Take some time at the end of each day to review and clean up your inbox. File every email into the appropriate folder, highlight the items you still need to address and delete the ones you don’t need anymore. If possible, I try not to leave the office without deciding which unanswered emails I will commit to taking care of the next day.
I hope this helps! Stay tuned for the third installment of Organization 101: Orderly Work Space = Productivity