Does your email inbox ever haunt you? Are you ever nervous to open it? We’ve all suffered from Email Overwhelm at some point in our lives. The higher the number on that annoying icon gets, the scarier it is to open it. Unconsciously, you worry about how many you’ll have to read, how many require you to take action, and how it will impact the rest of your day.
Trust me, I’ve been there. (And until about 10 minutes ago, I was there!)
Despite the fact that most of it’s junk and other things that don’t require much of us, the overwhelm can be paralyzing. So forget segmenting, filters, and multiple inboxes. Here are
5 Tips to End Email Overwhelm:
1. Divide & Conquer.
The feeling of overwhelm is based on quantity & content. Start by deleting all the crap and unsubscribing from things you don't want. With one swoop you can eliminate everything you don’t need. If there’s an article you want to read, do not leave it unopened. Open it and read it immediately or bookmark it. Chances are that if you don’t read it within 24 hours, you aren’t coming back to it. Maintaining unopened email will keep you in a state of anxiety.
2. The 2 minute rule.
If a response to an email takes under 2 minutes, act now. Do not add another item on your To-Do List.
3. Don’t be a jerk.
If you know your response will require multiple steps and/or reaching out to others, tell the person you will get back to them after you take said steps. Don’t just leave them scratching their heads! Seriously, don’t be a dick.
4. Leave the wildcard for last.
The wildcard email is like seeing what’s behind the door #3 on The Price is Right. It could be a new car or it could be crap. By the end of the day, you’ve already addressed your most pressing issues with contacts you already have a relationship with. By waiting on the wildcard, you will be able to focus on your goal without bringing in new overwhelm.
5. Let go of the idea that Success= Zero Inbox.
If it happens, great! If it doesn’t, you still accomplished a lot. Your inbox shouldn’t be what determines how you’ll spend your day or you’ll forget about strategy (big picture) and consume yourself with tasks (day-to-day BS).
Ultimately, as FDR stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” So just open your email and take action!
What do you do to deal with Email Overwhelm? Share your story in the Comments Section below!