Declutter Your Inbox and Become More Productive
Key Points From The Article:
- CEOs have a lot on their plate, and an overflowing inbox that’s getting out of control can compromise their productivity.
- Like any other CEO, you’re no stranger to email overloads — you probably have hundreds of unread emails whenever you open your inbox.
- While you should carve out a specific amount of time from your CEO responsibilities to address your email, you need a working system to help you manage your inbox.
- Several approaches can help you declutter your inbox, help you improve your email communications, and prevent productivity loss.
As a CEO, you’re no stranger to inbox overload. Your inbox might be acting like cancer — growing faster than you can possibly lop it off. A morning off to the meeting or a day away from the office leaves you with an unread email count in the hundreds.
Dealing with email alone could eat up your time, sacrifice your productivity, and force you to shift attention. If left unattended, your inbox can quickly become unruly. However, you can set up the right email approach that declutters your inbox and gives you control over your email. Here are five tips that will help you.
1. Delete Irrelevant Emails
If you don’t need an email, delete it. Most CEOs don’t delete emails — instead, they change the email status of irrelevant emails to “read” and leave the email unopened.
Keeping emails that you don’t need only takes up space in the inbox, preventing you from having essential emails at hand. When you let emails pile up to hundreds or thousands, you’re not going to read them. Your best shot is at deleting all of them.
When you delete irrelevant emails, you won’t notice their absence, but they turn into a daily nuisance when you keep them. If the email you get has nothing to do with you or isn’t something you’re addressing, just delete it and move on.
2. Drop the Subscription
The best way to get rid of unwanted emails is to unsubscribe from subscription lists you’re on but aren’t relevant anymore.
At first, you’d want to separate subscription-based emails from others to clear the clutter. However, the best approach is to prevent irrelevant emails from hitting your inbox by unsubscribing from the email list that is no longer relevant. Unsubscribing will eliminate the need for:
- Deleting unwanted emails to unclog your inbox
- Spending time checking irrelevant emails off
- Seeing emails that don’t matter to you
When you get emails that you no longer want to receive, take your time and scroll down to and find out how to unsubscribe from the list. While unsubscribing will take some time, it’ll pay off in spades because the number of unwanted emails you receive will drop.
More importantly, you can use automated services like Swizzle to help you unsubscribe from several lists all at once.
3. Delegate the Email
Outsourcing your inbox to an executive assistant can be the key to success. Dealing with all emails by yourself would take you hours. You need time to go through the emails and respond to all messages that require your attention.
When you delegate your inbox to an executive assistant, they can help you respond, sort, filter, and archive the others. However, you first need to communicate to the executive assistant your preferences and boundaries. As the CEO, you don’t have to respond to every customer service request, but you should see the email if a critical customer is emailing you or seeking your advice.
You should also have a private email that keeps work stuff at work and highly personal stuff with you.
4. Schedule the Response
You can delay your response to go out after you have meetings or a specific time when you might be more available to engage in dialogs. Instead of dealing with the email immediately or having it clutter your inbox while you’re trying to do other things, you can snooze it and reply at a specific time.
Outlook has a response delay function that helps you manage your priorities. The feature allows you to delay the email to the specific time you find appropriate. With the delay function, you can decide how many hours or days you want the email to come back so that it doesn’t sit in your inbox unread.
The Snooze function on Outlook is an excellent way to remind yourself about important tasks and events. The emails you snooze will disappear temporarily from your inbox and reappear unread at the time you choose.
You can then work on it when the time is right.
5. Respond Promptly to Business-Critical Emails
Too often, when business-critical emails come to the CEO’s inbox, they keep them — waiting for long before dealing with them. While being on top of your email and getting your inbox down to zero appears as the best strategy, you need to dedicate time to emails that matter.
You can set a specific time of the day to scan your inbox and flag business-critical emails that need your attention. You can respond right away, then focus your remaining time and energy on your team and push forward critical factors that impact your business.
Organization is the key. You can set up a filtering system and folder topic organization to help you identify emails that require immediate attention. While the filters are critical, you’ll still need to dedicate time to sort through the email to respond to urgent emails and ongoing projects.
Palindrome Consulting Will Help Your Business Make the Best Out of Outlook Email to Enhance Productivity and Communication
Productivity loss due to email is a big issue today. CEOs spend a huge chunk of their time wading through their inbox at work. A typical CEO gets hundreds of emails every day, and if you’re to sift through them every day to get the important ones, you’re bound to productivity loss. You need a setup that helps you sort through your email, keep the business-critical email at the top of the stack, and put the rest into the bottom.
Palindrome Consulting can help you leverage Outlook’s technology in the maximum way possible to control your inbox. Contact us today for further assistance with Outlook.