Don’t be a slave to your inbox

We all struggle at times with time management and one of my key takeaways from a recent meeting was – don’t be a slave to your inbox.

This week, Lorraine from Energise Health and Fitness brought me along to a Venus meeting. It was such a great experience connecting with like minded business owners in Christchurch and discussing this week’s topic – Time Management. Too often I hear one of the following (inbox related) complaints;

‘I spend so much time clearing emails’, ‘I get sent emails that I don’t need or aren’t relevant’ or ‘I’ve been so unproductive this morning but I’ve cleared my inbox!’

Over the years we’ve learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to inbox management, here are our top 5:

inbox and calendar

1. De-clutter. It’s worth spending an hour or so going through and unsubscribing from all the junk you get sent. Each promotional email will have an unsubscribe link right at the bottom (usually hidden in the small print)

2. Use folders. For key clients or projects, separate your inbox into folders to help you manage what you’re working on – this might also save you forwarding that confidential email to the wrong client

3. Set up rules. They will change your life. Auto forward your low priority emails to another folder (office newsletter or interesting reads that you’ll come back to when you have more time) and create a rule to highlight emails sent to you (rather than ones you’ve been copied in)

4. Use flags. Flag the most important emails, ones you need to action with urgency. Once something has been actioned, move it to a folder or delete it

5. Don’t live by your inbox. There are no prizes for ‘quickest responder’. Dedicate a time slot to managing emails and when you’re working on something that requires focus – close outlook!


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