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Email Clutter: Tech Tuesday

Strategies for Success

  • End email overload. More than 100 emails in your inbox is clutter – just looking at it can be stress-inducing! Take control by taking time to triage your inbox into three ‘tried-and-true’ folders: FOLLOW-UP, ARCHIVE, and HOLD.  You will be amazed at how free you become when your inbox is squeaky clean.  Check out Lifehacker’s full guide to email triage to learn more.
  • Create Filters. Chances are, not every single email you get requires your attention right away. Filter out the important messages so when you’re crunched for time, you can prioritize what email you answer so you don’t waste time.
  • Disconnect. Whatever you do, don’t be a slave to your email notifications. Answering your email every time you see that little popup, hear that little ding, or watch that icon badge climb up another point will kill your productivity. Assign yourself a 15-minute minimum for email checking: Let the emails come in, and then check it periodically throughout your day instead of every time a new one comes in. And don’t check it first thing in the morning, either, or you’ll never get anything done
  • Use search. A recent study found that wading through email folders is an inefficient way to search through old messages. This doesn’t mean don’t use folders—You don’t want to become an email piler, where everything piles up in your inbox—but it means learn to use your search function. When it comes time to find that old email, don’t go clicking through folders, use advanced search operators in conjunction with good filters to find what you’re looking for.
  • Ask for help. Still overwhelmed?  Two minds are better than one, there is no shame in asking for help!  Enlist the support of a colleague or friend, your local NAPO agent, or **wink wink** a SmartlySorted professional!