I finish every day with an empty inbox. Or at the most, 5 emails. It has completely changed my life and allowed me to feel SO much less distracted and stressed.
I agree that emails are both a chaotic and wonderful source of information and are very useful to keep. But they are not a substitute for a to do list, and they multiply like rabbits if left to their own devices. Do not leave them to their own devices! Here are three simple steps you can follow to wrest control back form your tyrannical inbox!
1. Set up Directories
Every email provider allows you to set up directories. So set them up. You know the most relevant categories for the work you do. Set them up and file emails away once you have actioned them. Done!
2. Deal with the backlog.
If your inbox has thousands of emails, this is going to take WAY too long. So create a directory called “Archive” or similar. Then, select all your emails. Move them to Archive.
Magic. Empty inbox. It will absolutely change your life. But – should you ever need something vitally important, you can just search for your email and voila it will appear. It is out of your inbox but not out of your life, should you need it.
3. Turn your email off!
Yes you really can turn your email off several times a day to get stuck into a concentrated piece of work. People can wait more than half a day for information. It won’t kill them. If they desperately need you, they will text you or call your landline.
Try an empty inbox at the end of each day. It really will change your life, or at the very least reduce the number of shiny objects competing for your attention.
To your reduced overwhelm and increased creativity!