How to Keep Your Inbox to a Manageable – Stress-Free – Number

While technology is supposed to make life easier, sometimes it can add to your stress. This is especially true when it comes to your inbox. If you have emails piling up and hundreds more coming in each week, dealing with your inbox can begin to feel like its own job. How do you conquer the chaos and restore order in it? Here’s a look:

Don’t keep your email open all day.

If you do, you’ll be constantly distracted by notifications. This, in turn, will impact your ability to focus and get work done, adding to your stress. Instead, check it in the morning, early afternoon, and at the end of the day. Avoid checking it at home if you can.

Only keep urgent emails in your inbox.

When you open your inbox and it’s filled with hundreds of emails, it’s an overwhelming experience. While you might not be able to get it down to zero, do filter out all those un-important emails and keep only the ones that require your attention inside your inbox.

Create a folder for less urgent emails.

If you have emails you have to keep, but don’t require an immediate response, then put them in a folder outside of your inbox. This way, you have fast access to them when you need them, but they’re not taking up space inside your inbox.

Use subfolders to keep work organized.

You might be a part of an email thread for a project you’re working on or receiving documents that are attached to emails you’ll need to reference. While important, these shouldn’t remain in your inbox. Instead, create separate subfolders for each project or task. This way, you can declutter your inbox and still find the emails you need, when you need them.

Keep work and personal accounts separate.

Checking multiple emails might seem like a pain. However, it will keep you more organized and on track and less stressed. So tell your friends and family not to email you at work. Likewise, don’t give your personal email out to colleagues.

Trash junk immediately.

Sometimes junk emails make it through the filter and wind up inside your inbox. Get rid of them immediately and flag them as “junk” before you do, so you don’t receive future emails from the same sender. Also, if you’re getting e-newsletters or promotional notifications you’re no longer interested in, unsubscribe to them.

Use idle moments to check and organize emails.

Those times – when you’re waiting in a doctor’s office or for your kids to get out of school, for instance – are ideal for quickly sifting through your email and deleting ones you don’t need. You’ll be able to stay on top of responses too, so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed next time you check your inbox.

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