Email Overload – How to cope with it successfully

You walk into your office,  turn on your computer and yikes your email inbox is overflowing!

It’s the one thing that can keep you awake at night after great vacation or even on an ordinary work day.

I recently read an article by Peter Bregman at the Harvard Business Review and he points out that we use email to distract ourselves and justify it as “work”.  We have this need to be  responsible, to make sure that we respond in a timely manner or not miss an important message.  We even go so far as to check emails during meeting which drains our focus and attention away from what we should be present for.  And guess what?!   People know when you are distracted!

Its clear to me that the abundance of email isn’t the problem it’s the fact that we really don’t know how to effectively and efficiently deal with it.  Haven’t you found yourself checking your emails when you should be doing  something else then not taking action, deleting them or reading the same emails over and over again?  How do you get yourself out of this trap?

The first answer is to set up 30 minutes 3  times per day.  We are  more efficient when we answer our emails in bulk.  When you do this, you are more focused, driven and waste less time.  Then don’t access your email inbox otherwise, turn off those reminders, shut off your email.  Initially, this will be tough as the urge will arise and if you forget to turn off those notifications, they will lure you into checking your emails when you should be focusing on work.

Three benefits of the 30 x 3 method:

You will learn to process your emails faster and with better attention.

You will be more focused and efficient on your other work.

You will no longer feel so overwhelmed by your email!

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