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One of the most convenient ways to reach someone at the office is not walking over to their cubicle, rather it’s shooting them a quick email. Not only does this keep a written record of everything, it also allows you to go back and reference what was discussed. But with such a high volume of emails constantly bombarding one’s inbox it can be hard to keep track of what’s important and still needs to be dealt with and what’s been read. These are some simple tips that can help you “de-clutter” and conquer your inbox.

Set time-limits

For starters as soon as an email has been read move it out of your main inbox to stop yourself from re-reading it again later. Next instead of stopping what’s currently being worked on at the ping of a new incoming email, turn off the notifications and instead allot a set time where you check your emails. This can be at the top of every hour or even every couple of hours depending on the necessity.

Have a clear-out Plan

Having inboxes that are overflowing with emails wastes an average of 27 minutes per day according to research. There must be a clear plan to clear out or move read emails out of the inbox in order to avoid building backlog. Archiving or deleting emails after reading them would be the best option.

Use the Search option

Finding messages that we’ve already read is a big part of the work of email processing. Search is one fix. Some people create multiple folders to categorize emails to deal with this problem. But research finds this to be 9% slower than the simple Search feature. Search option is argued to be the easiest option to overcome this problem.

Simplify

Also, remember your email isn’t a library, it doesn’t need multiple categories to be sorted into. Rather have just two folders, one with emails that need to be responded to, and the other for emails being kept as a record but don’t need a response.

Set filters

Reading and processing irrelevant emails costs us 8 minutes per day. So it is important to cut the spam. Have an automated filter to soft out newsletters and flyers that are not read. Make sure to unsubscribe from lists and stores that you don’t actively seek out information from. By cutting the clutter you’re already halfway there to conquering the clutter. By following the simple tips provided you can take charge and conquer your inbox!
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