How to Keep Your Emails Under Control

Schedule regular times to deal with you inbox, and avoid your emails piling up.

A strategy for managing your email is to set a limit or threshold for how many messages you want to let sit in your email inbox at any given time. For most of us when we  see our inbox number creep past 25 or 30 or 50 or even 100, we can quickly get over whelmed because again each email doesn’t need to be read. Most of them are TO-DOs of some sort. And when we’ve got hundreds or thousands of TO-DOs staring at us, it can be pretty stressful. So set a number for yourself for how many messages you want to let sit in your inbox – maybe it is 25, maybe it is 50, maybe it is 100. Then as your messages start to come in, if you notice that you are starting to get past that number you’ve set for yourself, recognize that you need to set an appointment with yourself, a real life scheduled appointment, to work on processing your email. Because if you don’t that number will simply keep increasing. And in order to keep it managed, you need to manage it.

It is super, super important that if you expect to keep your email under control that you set regular times to process it. Email, somehow, in the public consciousness is something that we are supposed to get to when we have spare time. But let’s face it. Who has spare time? I personally don’t know anyone who does. And let’s say that they magically did have some spare time, would they want to spend it processing email?  I doubt it.

So if email is important to you and to your business, make sure that you’ve scheduled specific times through out your day or your week when you plan on dealing with email. Email takes time to go through, just like paper does. And if you give it the time that it requires it won’t become overwhelming.

Set three times throughout your day when you process email – once in the morning, once in the  early afternoon or after lunch and once at the end of the day. That for most of us will handle the email that comes in. Very few of us are on a 24 hour cycle where we are expected to respond to email instantaneously. If we process it 3 times through out the business day, it won’t be more than a few hours before someone will receive a response from us. That is pretty good, even if you did it just two times a day, that is still very effective.

Read more about effectively managing your emails at

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