How many unread emails do you have?
Most people with any sort of digital presence these days share a common problem – an overflowing email inbox. I used to spend precious hours each day reading emails and cleaning out my inbox. I would get distracted whenever my phone screen lit up with another notification, even for the most inconsequential email (damn you, online shopping!).
It got to the point where there would be so many notifications on my screen that I started ignoring them, and started missing important emails amongst the noise. Not a great place to be.
I knew there had to be a better way to free up my time and energy for the important emails. In an ideal world, my email inbox would only contain MY priorities, rather than those of others. In order to stop feeling overwhelmed, you need to get to Inbox Zero.
Emails fall into two categories:
NOISE consists of emails that have no place in your inbox and are just wasting your time. Everyone’s priorities are different, but for me, this category includes:
- Online shopping – Buying something online signs you up to get a newsletter. I don’t need the temptation to buy more clothes just because of a sale! I’ll buy when I’m good and ready. Stop pressuring me, LL Bean.
- Social media updates – you can just check the actual websites, no need to clutter your inbox.
PRIORITIES are things that you want to receive and spend time on:
- Personal emails from people, websites, or organizations you care about. When you reply or take action, you can archive the email.
- Work emails that contain helpful information, or that you have to act on. Once you capture the task or act, you can archive the email.
By filtering out noise, you get true utility from your precious time spent reading those emails. There’s enormous peace of mind when you know you aren’t missing something important that’s buried in your inbox. There are lots of ways to get to this point, whether using filters, keyboard shortcuts, or playing around with your email settings.
Stay tuned for step-by-step guides to reach and maintain Inbox Zero in both Outlook and Gmail. If you want to stop spending precious time buried in emails, you can sign up here to be the first to know when these guides are published.