Raise your hand if you have trouble keeping up with your Inbox. If your hand is raised, I am right there with you and have even entertained the idea of petitioning Webster’s to redefine “four letter word” to include “Inbox” and “Email”. Don’t fear, hope is in sight if you commit to taking these five baby steps to reach the dream of the……..Zero Inbox (even though I have doubted that it is even a real thing). The inspiration for this blog came from Andi Anchetta with Karbon. Here are some tips adapted from Andi and even a few of my own.
Baby Step #1
Unsubscribe from those newsletters, emails, and lists that you haven’t had time to read in the last 3 months. Andi introduced me to the acronym FOMO, meaning Fear of Missing Out. Fear is my middle name so this concept resonated with me in a big way. I have news for you. You’ve already missed a lot because you haven’t been reading those emails anyway. More news: You are still here to tell about it so go ahead and hit that unsubscribe button.
Baby Step #2
Make a file cabinet. Depending on the email program you use, you should be able to create folders and rules. For example, if you subscribe to e-statements of any sort, create a folder for each vendor and have those emails automatically skip your Inbox and go straight to that folder. They will be there when you need them. But beware, don’t use this system to file away all your emails. Only the ones that are more informational for future reference, like receipts, statements, feeds you follow, etc.
Baby Step #3
Only check your email 3-4 times a day. Set aside specific times of the day to check your email, and if it helps, set an alarm on your phone. The struggle is real and I may need therapy to follow this step, but you are strong! You may even want to add a brief note to your email signature that explains your email policy. I have seen this done a few times and you probably have too.
Baby Step #4
Be your own client! Make an appointment with yourself on your calendar at a set time each week to review any non-priority emails that you have filtered to other folders or otherwise postponed.
Baby Step #5
If you are like me, you unsubscribed to some items but talked yourself in to still receiving other emails. By now you should be feeling some relief. Unsubscribe from some more. Have fun with it. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, make yourself a separate list of the ones you were unsure about (after you unsubscribe) and revisit it later. You will probably find that you are doing just fine.
Well, I don’t know about you but that is all I can absorb at one time. Good luck and happy e-mailing!