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Are you dealing with email overload?

More and more I hear from people how their email inboxes have accumulated thousands, and tens of thousands of emails. Admittingly, they refuse to look and see what’s waiting for them.

They don’t know how to handle what’s in there now waiting for them now, because they use it as a filing cabinet for things they need to do, they haven’t looked at and don’t want to know where they’ve dropped the ball.

Why Do We Struggle with Our Email
Most are tired of spending hours reviewing email messages, responding to them, trashing them, and filing them away.  It’s daunting, time sucking and ineffective.

Having email messages pile up on me has made me feel like things are out of control, so I get it. 

Since people associate one’s responsiveness with their competence, response times can reflect poorly on you.

That’s why I decided it is time to deal with the monster otherwise called “The Email Inbox.” Sorting through email has become an essential survival skill in our Material World.

7 Steps to Manage Your Email Inbox

1 | Get your inbox to zero each and every day.  You want to be able to end each day knowing you’ve taken care of everything you had to do.  Process every message in your email inbox by the close of your day.

2 | Plan to review messages.  Allow time in your schedule to review your inbox messages.  All too often we check email between doing other things. Only do it when you’re expecting something important or waiting to hear from someone.  On average, we check email 15 times a day.  That’s way too much, especially since we aren’t doing anything with them, but checking on them, over and over again.

3 | Don’t get stuck. Once you start processing your email messages don’t stop.  Often, emails will ask you to go somewhere and do something.  Don’t, not just yet.

4 | Process email messages. Here’s my system to review email messages and I can get through my inbox quickly.  I can process about 125 emails an hour.

How to Process Email Messages

a | Review each message once and ask yourself, “Am I being asked to do something?” If so, there are 4 possible responses:

Do it. If it will take you no more than 3 minutes, do what’s being asked immediately.

Delegate it. If the message asks you to do something, someone else handles, forward the message immediately.

Defer it.  If what’s being asked of you will take more than 3 minutes and it’s something you need to personally handle, decide when you will do it and add it to your list, or schedule time to handle it.

Deter it.  If your answer is no or you cannot be of service for one reason or another, respond immediately.

b | If you’re not being asked to do something, or after you have done, delegated, deferred or deterred, the message, not it’s time to get it out of the inbox by deleting it, or filing the message.

5 | Keep your system simple. A good filing system makes things easy to find when you need them.  My fining system consists of 5 folders: Done, My Travel, To Read, To Buy, and To Watch.

Keeping my options simple makes filing very easy and efficient.

6 | Use filters.  Set up filters to automatically file messages with newsletters and videos you receive and enjoy regularly.  Then schedule time to visit your To Read, To Watch, and To Buy files.

7 | Unsubscribe. For any emails you receive and notice you are consistently deleting them for one reason or another, unsubscribe from them. Going through you emails takes time, even if you are only deleting them. Do it.

Filtering your emails and bringing down the number of emails you receive regularly and delete is going to immediately make a difference in your relationship with your email inbox.

I’ve have gone from receiving over 300 emails a day to less than 120.  It only takes me about an hour to sort through them all.  I check my email 3 times a day, spending about 20 minutes each time processing my emails with the steps I’ve shared with you.

If you would like to learn more about how to calm the chaos of your day, check out my book, Be a Spiritual Girl in a Material World: Achieve Radical Personal Success Without Sacrificing Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

In it I share The Keys, part of a lifestyle management system I created to help calm the chaos and reclaim your time, so you can achieve work-life balance and the success you desire while living with passion, purpose, and play.  Click here to learn more.

As always, I am here for you.  Share your ha-has, comments, questions, and thoughts in the comment section below.  And if you liked this article, I ask that you share it with a friend you think would enjoy it.

With gratitude,

Carmen M. Perez, Your Wellbeing Messenger
Personal Success Mentor
Growth ~ Marketing ~ Performance
Author, Motivational Speaker, Mentor, Mother, Wife and Lover of Life

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