Did you get a chance to use the tips previously provided to clear your entry of mittens and scarves so you could enjoy a serene space for the remaining 18 days of winter? I hope you did because winter is still hanging on thanks to the significant snow fall yesterday. Even so I can’t help thinking about spring and, therefore, spring cleaning when I turn my calendar to March. So why not start with “spring cleaning” your inbox?
Is your inbox cluttered? Do you feel burdened by the number of emails you get daily? Are there unread emails lurking in your inbox?
For me a full inbox is a stress-generating liability and, unfortunately, I have let mine get a little out of hand lately. But relax…I have a few tips to help eliminate a cluttered inbox and keep it that way for good.
- Set up a consistent folder system for all your storage systems (email, computer, paper files) including these basic folders: Action, Pending, Archive and Trash.
- When you get an attachment save it in your computer’s file in the appropriate folder. Delete the email once you save the document. Only save it in your email if the message sent with the document is important.
- Set aside a consistent time each day to handle your inbox. Read each message and decide what the message requires of you and record those actions. Then delete or file the message. Unless your work requires you to respond to most messages immediately, set the check email function to only once per hour or less or turn it off.
- Organize your inbox with color-coding by name to ensure that emails sent by important people (like your boss) are taken care of in a timely manner. You can also color-code messages that are only sent to you personally or filter message by adjusting the font size.
- Schedule a regular time each week for maintenance. During that time go through your inbox and handle any accumulated or missed messages and review your basic folders.
With regular care your inbox will be manageable and clutter-free like mine is now.
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James