As I’ve been writing over the last ten days or so, I’ve been working on cleaning up my email act this summer. I’ve defined the problem that afflicts many of us (too many emails!), and I’ve also shared tips (and still more tips) that can help us all move toward a solution.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve found these tips to be really helpful! When I first started writing the series I definitely had a couple extra emails in my inbox (that’s a couple, uh, hundred extra emails). So I’ve spent the last week very consciously dealing with every kind of email that comes through. The tips I’ve found most helpful?
* Unsubscribing from just about every commercial email (e.g., retailers, museums, and service providers) that comes in (just scroll to the bottom of the email to find a link for unsubscribing);
* Opening my email program only once an hour (this is a huge boon to concentration and productivity);
* But then doing something with every email that has come in (delete, respond, or file); and
* Being careful not to set off avalanches of replies in email groups to which I belong (i.e., I hold my tongue – er, fingers – unless my comments would truly be of value).
Just taking these simple steps has reduced the amount of email I’m getting by about 50 percent, as well as increased my concentration and generally made me feel less interrupted while I’m working, as well as less compelled to constantly check emails to see what’s happening.
That’s a good return on a very small investment of time and energy!
Let me know if you tried any of these tips – and how they worked for you!