According to a 2019 study by the Harvard Business Review, the average person spends 28% of their working day in their inbox. That equates to 2.6 hours each day. That’s 35 hours per week. And it means we’re all getting a lot of emails.
Sure, you can go through every single email, sort them all, and delete what you don’t need. But who has the time?
Here are five tips that can help you keep your email inbox under control — and keep your sanity in the process.
1. Unsubscribe from the chaos
Think of all those useless, annoying emails you receive from online stores or services you never signed up for. They take up valuable space in your inbox and can be distracting when you’re trying to find an important email. If you aren’t reading them regularly, unsubscribe. It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
2. Set up filters
Create filters and sort emails into different folders based on categories like sender and subject line. This way, you can find all the emails from your boss, teammate, or client without sifting through dozens of messages. Bonus: you can use filters to unsubscribe from mailing lists all at once by creating a filter that deletes every email that comes from a specific spammer address.
3. Focus on what matters by using folders, tags, and filters
Some items in your inbox are more important than others —essential emails from your team, boss, or clients fall into this category.
Many people have their work email connected to their phone, which means they receive notifications every time they receive a new email (whether it’s essential or not). The best way to avoid being distracted by these notifications is to turn off the ones that are not necessary when you’re working on a task.
4. Delete ancient emails
If you’ve got emails from years ago still sitting in your inbox, delete them! They’re not doing anything but taking up space in your account and making it harder for you to find more recent (and sometimes critical) messages.
5. Only give out email addresses when necessary
Every time you use an email address to register for an account, you open yourself up to more unsolicited mail. If the site allows, consider using a throwaway email address instead.
Managing your inbox can be difficult, but the right tools can help
If you don’t know how to set up and use filters and checkpoints in your inbox, now is the time to learn!
Instead of thinking of it as a chore, try to see it as an opportunity for self-improvement and growth.
The more organized you are with your email, the better off you will be.