Organize Your Inbox: 5 Simple Tips to Manage Your Email at the Office

Have you heard those rumors that email is dead? Well, we all know that those rumors are greatly exaggerated, but sometimes we wish on certain days that email would meet its great demise. Of course, that is unlikely to occur in our lifetime, which means it is up to you to adapt…or die.

Maintaining and managing your email at work can seem like an impossible endeavour. The constant emails from clients, the regular check-ins from your superiors, the promotional emails that flood your inbox and the social media updates (we all know you get them). What’s the solution? It’s simple: better manage your email at work. This may seem easier said than done, but it is doable as long as you incorporate the right measures at work.

Here are five tips for managing your email at the office:

1. Establish a Schedule for Checking Email

A common mistake that professionals make is that they leave their email open in a web browser tab. So, whenever they are notified of a new email, they check it immediately, taking time away from the main task at hand. By the end of it, they get sucked into the email black hole.

The simple remedy to this conundrum is to establish a schedule for checking email:

  • Check your email when you get to work.
  • Check your email again before your lunch.
  • Check your email after lunch.
  • Check your email before you leave for the day.

In between, be sure to not have any email inbox tab open.

2. Adopt the 80/20 Rule for Emails

Are you aware of the 80/20 rule for checking emails? It is apparently a method promoted by business consultants who help companies establish greater productivity levels.

How does it work?

Twenty percent of the emails you should concentrate on are emails that lead to higher output. For instance, an email that will help you appear on television or an email that will land you a client. The other eighty percent – an email about lunch, an email about the company party or an email about a new hire – can be ignored until you have the time.

3. Write Short Emails

By now, we have established the point that emails eat up a lot of your time. When you’re composing emails, you can shave the time it takes by composing short emails. These emails should be concise, detailed and right to the point. The email should be written so effectively that it doesn’t not require several back-and-forth exchanges.

4. Declutter Your Email Inbox

Whether you’re a receptionist or you’re a supervisor, your inbox is likely cluttered with hundreds of different emails from over the last few weeks. This is draining to say the least.

Solution? Declutter your email inbox by taking the time to perform a clean sweep. Delete old emails, erase promotional messages and get rid of emails from former colleagues.

5. You Don’t Need to Reply Every Email

Finally, you need to get it through your head that you do not need to reply to every single email that arrives in your inbox. This can be tedious and unnecessary. Everything from being given a certain task to perform or an inner office memo, it doesn’t need to solicit a reply. You read it, you archived it and now it is time to move on to other tasks.

Email management can be a pain in the neck. Because of the sheer volume of all of the emails you receive, it can be hard not to take a peek at your inbox dozens of times a day – in fact, many studies have found we check our emails at least 100 times a day at the office. In an environment where we want to boost output, remain competitive and avoid distractions, email management solutions are truly essential and should be adopted by all professionals.

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