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Showing items tagged with "Clean Inbox" - 12 found.

Five Top Tips to Spring Clean Your Inbox For The Easter Break to Reduce Email Overload

Posted Monday April 8th, 2019, 9:27 pm by

How many emails do you currently have in your inbox? More than three screen’s full? That is too many and might be an indication of email overload.  Your inbox should be your ‘work in progress’ folder.  It is not just a general dumping ground rather like either the spare room or ‘round to it’ folder.

Inbox spring cleaning

A clean inbox is a win-win way to reduce email overload related stress because it is easier to:

  • Spot important emails before they become urgent.
  • Keep on top of the incoming emails.
  • Find emails.

Hence you can save time dealing with your (and the boss’s) inbox and therefore improve your performance and well-being.  Here are five tips to help you clean up your inbox ready for the Easter break and subsequently reduce email overload on your return.  They do not form a sequence, rather they are individual tips; you can of course either use them all or just choose which suit you best.

  1. Move out all emails over two weeks old to a separate folder. Start the folder with a full stop and it will sit at the top of the list: eg .Old Emails.
  2. Use the Conversation view to group emails and see threads for those left in the inbox.
  3. Prioritise which emails you really need to see directly in your inbox. Then set up rules to divert all the less important emails to appropriate folders. For Outlook users use the ‘Search Folders’ to see all unread emails in one go: see diagram.

    Search Folders to see all emails of specific type eg unread

  4. Highlight emails which do need action either before or after the Easter break.For example add a follow-up flag; drag and drop them on your task-list/calendar, add a category or place them in a specific folder eg ‘Action’.
  5. Review the emails you have and see if an alternative to email would be more effective eg What’s App; OneNote; old fashioned conversation; SharePoint etc. Never be afraid to change because if you don’t you will get what you always have – email overload!

If you are having time off, remember to set an Out of Office message which reduces the risk of email borne cyber crime and improves compliance to to the GDPR.  And when all else fails you could always declare email bankruptcy.

Still need help with email management to reduce email overload?  Call us now to ask about Mesmo Consultancy’s Smart Email Management workshops and coaching programmes.

 

Happy Easter.

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Mental Health Awareness Week – Reduce Email Overload Day 2

Posted Tuesday May 9th, 2017, 6:08 pm by

Day 2 – Keeping the Inbox Clean

There is a huge stress (associated) with disorganisation and there is also a cost to being disorganised. Carolee Cannata

Mental health issues are often exacerbated by stress at work.  Email overload is a major source of stress.  The real work of reducing email overload starts today. Having cleared out all the old emails, the goal is keep the inbox clean.  Develop the habit of  handling each email once and only once.  This will help you reduce the email related stress and improve your well-being and mental health.

Step 1 – Handle each (new) email once and do something with it

Use the Ds principle as you open each email:

Deal; Delegate; Delete or Defer.

Never, never open an email and then close it without taking action. This just wastes time as you then go back and forth re-reading emails.

Step 2 – Develop a robust strategy for deferred emails

Develop a process for you for making sure you keep tabs on those emails which still need action. For example, create a task, add a flag, move them to a ‘Pending’ folder. What ever happens don’t just leave them lying around in your inbox.

For more resource

Invest in a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or for ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’ (written especially for PAs, EAs and VAs).

Tomorrow we look at how to reduce the volume of email traffic through your inbox.

 

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Mental Awareness Week – Reduce Email Overload

Posted Monday May 8th, 2017, 7:28 am by

Business email overload remains one of the top ten causes of stress.  It saps our performance and well-being.  As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we are posting a series of daily tips and strategies to help you clean out your inbox and reduce the email related stress.  We thank the Mental Health Foundation for their support.

Day 1 – Why Bother?

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed. Peter Drucker

Why bother to take time to clean out your inbox?  Primarily, because email overload is expensive.

Email overload means our potential to be productive and creative is significantly reduced. The starting point for Cleaning Out Your Inbox is to assess just how much time you can save by cleaning out your inbox this week.

Step 1 – Check the Cost of Email Overload to yourself and your business

Use our Cost of Email Misuse Calculator and dare to share the results – see below.

Step 2 – Weigh in

  • Check how many emails are in your inbox.
  • What is the date of the oldest.
  • How many are unread.

Step 3 – Move all those emails over 10 days old out of your inbox into a folder.

They are long since dead and if they are not you can be sure the sender will re-contact you.

Step 4 – Set yourself SMART goals for the week and plan how they will be achieved.

For example, do you want to find ways to spend less time dealing with email and more on revenue generating tasks, reduce the volume of emails you receive, find ways to stop people expecting an instant reply etc.

If these tips are helpful why not cajole other colleagues to join you?

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Limit the business email overload after taking time out

Posted Friday July 29th, 2016, 12:13 pm by

About to take a few days out of the office?  Here are give top tips to avoid coming back to a chronic attack of business email overload.

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  1. Reduce the current inbox to as near to inbox zero as possible – see 2 and 3 below.
  2. Check for any important emails which if left unattended will be urgent when you return. If there are then either deal with them now or send a holding reply which allows you time on your return to deal with them.
  3. Move out all the remaining emails over a week old. They are past their sell by date and if they are not, rest assured, someone will re-email you.

You should just be left with emails needing attention on your return. You could be bold and move these too into a folder ‘awaiting action’. Now you have an empty inbox. How does that feel? To keep the inbox clean and de-cluttered see item 4.

  1. Set up rules to move automatically both essential and non-essential emails to folders eg newsletters, circulars, out of office messages, emails on which you are cc’d, etc. This also means that emails from key people are all in one place on your return and easy to find. Your inbox should then just contain important emails but un-planned for emails.
  2. Set a safe and simple Out of Office message. Take care not to leave the door open to prying eyes and cyber criminals. You might be bold and suggest the sender re-sends any important emails on your return as all emails will be automatically deleted. Such a practice is far more common than you think.

Now go off and relax safe in the knowledge that you have taken adequate precautions to reduce a chronic attack of business email overload.

For more guidelines like these see Brilliant Email and Taking Control of Your Inbox (the latter is especially relevant for PAs and EAs who manage someone else’s inbox.

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Distracted Beyond Belief

Posted Wednesday March 2nd, 2016, 9:31 pm by

One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.
Daniel Goleman

Are you distracted by each and every new email as it arrives in your inbox? Over the last few weeks it amazed us as to how many people still have all those new email alerts turned on. The reasons why range from ‘we are acting for clients in the middle of a merger’ to ‘my boss will ask for more coffee during a meeting’. The latter might just be valid, but and it’s a big but, often better decisions are made given a little extra time and space to think. Ever looked back and thought if only?

As to the second reason, can the boss not phone, walk to their PAs office? Would not any self respecting PA check on such matters during important meetings?

We live in an age of instant gratification so the faster we reply the better we feel. Or do we? Constant distractions have been shown irrevocably to reduce our performance. Moreover our brain becomes re-wired to think tactically and we lose the ability to think strategically. This is one of the first major challenges facing Sophie in Dr Seeley’s new book Taking Control of Your Inbox. Max the email genie from the Clean Inbox Kingdom provide some solutions.

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  1. Turn off all those wretched new email alerts from the ding dong to the floating box. Stay focused for 20 to 30 minutes then review the inbox. For Outlook users go to File/Options/Mail. Under the Message arrival block, uncheck all the boxes. Click OK.
  2. Apply either the Pomodoro or Swiss Cheese Approach when you do switch to dealing with email. In each case it’s about identifying what is really important and dealing with those emails then returning to the task in hand.
  3. Manage sender’s expectations. Tell them when you will respond.
  4. Set aside specific time to deal with the rest of the emails.
  5. If needs be use your Out of Office message to buy time when dealing with an important task which requires your undivided attention.

Clients who have switched off all the new email alerts are always amazed at how much more they achieve in a day. As one client said last week – ‘you made me realise that the inbox is no more than a post box. When ready I will go and see that the postman has for me’.

For more help to take control of your day why not invest in a copy of Taking Control of Your Inbox (and life)?

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