Feeling overwhelmed by email overload?
You. Are. Not. Alone!
Everyday, I get between 80-100 emails, and majority of them are work related or things that I have to add to my To-Do list. At times it can get super overwhelming, and it can feel like my email is managing me instead of the other way around.
If you are experiencing a bleek feeling every time you see a new email pour in, or there is a pit you feel in your stomach as you try to decide between starting a task or answering an email, your inbox may be causing you unnecessary anxiety. Add in the moments that you think you may perish from starvation because you can’t seem to get a moment to eat due to the influx of emails, you may be experiencing a real problem.
Luckily, I started taking necessary steps daily to manage my emails before they became out of control, and my work life has gotten so much easier. Here are some morning practices that help me manage my email so I can be more productive!
Let Them Load
I don’t check my email for the first 20 minutes that I’m in the office. Sounds crazy. I know! But let the emails come in. Once a good amount of them are in your inbox, go through and decide which ones are priority and which ones can be put off for later. When you just start answering emails as they roll in you chance working on something less important, while bigger tasks wait in your inbox.
Block Out Time
Thanks to my friend, and Lucky Magazine Assistant Editor, @MikeTheStandout’s advice, I time-block my email responses in correspondence with my tasks. In other words, allocate a certain amount of time to answer emails and then a certain amount of time to carry out the task in the email. Set aside 15 or 30 minutes to read your emails and write down tasks. Then set aside 15 or 30 mins to carry out the tasks. During that time don’t check your email. Put up an away message that says you’re away from your desk and will respond in ___minutes. This way you aren’t a slave to your incoming emails. Don’t let your email bully you! You’re in control!
If there are emails containing tasks that require your attention to be in the same, or a similar place, then combine those tasks. For instance, I am an intern at a fashion magazine, and if I get an email from Fendi and Chanel requesting their samples returned, I will combine those tasks and get both samples at once. Basically, kill two email birds with one stone! Score!
We’d love to hear what strategies you have for managing email overload. Leave a comment below!