One of the things I noticed as I went over my inbox on the flight to the US, was the volume of newsletters that I get from many different sources. You know the feeling, you see something cool, sign up for the newsletter and then read a few copies, but get busy and don’t read them all. Ultimately this leads to large amounts of unread mail. You have two choices.
1. Create a rule and move them into a subfolder so you can go back to them later. The only issue with this is that if you are like me then you likely won’t get around to reading them. End result your mailbox grows and will ultimately hit it’s limits.
2. Unsubscribe from the newsletter. Yup – this is the option I’ve taken for quite a few of the newsletters. I’ve copied their unsubscribe information into a task and I plan on having a coffee in Starbucks and removing myself from all the ones I no longer need. Sure I’m keeping a few on board, but will remove myself from 49 newsletters or email lists that are not of high enough value for me anymore.
What about you? Isn’t it time you looked at your inbox?
Robert Crane says
A few suggestions.
1. Do not have your email open all day. Use it no more than 3 times a day at 11am 1pm and 4pm. Put that in your email signature if you need to let other people know.
2. When you do to your inbox process it until it is empty. Use the 4 D’s – Delete, Do, Delegate or Date for action
3. Remove all warning indications of new mail arrival, these simply interrupt your thoughts. Studies how people answer email quicker than they would answer a phone. Given the number of emails received each day being interrupted that often means you have no time for actual work!
4. Train others to understand that email is asynchronous. It is not designed for immediate replies.
5. Don’t use your inbox for general storage, a to do list, calendar, etc. Use collaboration tools like SharePoint to allow people to access the information they need.
6. Do less email. The fewer emails you send the less you receive and the more work you get done. No one I know of gets paid to read emails, they get paid to work.
Plenty more where they came from if you want.
You know what, I do exactly the same sort of thing. I sign up for newsletters etc, and before I know it I am inundated with emails that mostly never get read and end up being deleted. And I do get myself removed from some but usually I find it easier to delete the emails myself.
As for the suggestions from Robert, good ideas for work situations but for at home, less so as I only check my email once a day.