Tag Archive: email overload


Email Overload


E mail concept Modern Laptop andThere are so many people who struggle with inbox woes daily. It’s not uncommon for people to have upwards of 3000 pieces of email in their inbox and a lot of them aren’t even read. Sometimes it seems like there’s just no way to get a handle on it, but I promise you, there is.

Right now, go to your inbox and look to see exactly how many emails are in your inbox. You might cringe, maybe you don’t even want to look, but just go take a peek. You have to know how bad the problem is before you can take steps to resolve it, so go look.

With technology getting better and better and people becoming more reliant upon it and since it’s always readily available, email it seems, is here to stay. So that means that you have to get a grip and gain the upper hand. If you don’t it will be and will stay out of control. An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter and it can get just an out of hand and be just as much of an issue as physical clutter in a space.

So what do you do to start the process of gaining control and eliminating email overload? Go back to your inbox and take inventory. What’s there? Ezines or newsletters you signed up for but haven’t read; emails that you’ve read but kept because they have useful information or attachments that you need?

If there are lists you subscribed to because you wanted particular information and you got it and used it, or didn’t, it’s time to unsubscribe from those lists. If the information is still of value to you, meaning that you can and will use it, save it in a document, bookmark the link or if you use Evernote save it there and keep it moving. Same thing goes for those precious attachments you’ve been holding onto via email. Download them to an appropriate folder and delete the email.

Once those things are gone, look to see what else is there and more importantly WHY it’s there. Get rid of the obsolete things and if there are emails you need to archive, create folders for them and start the drag and drop process. Keep it up until you’ve cleaned it up.

Once you’ve cleaned up your inbox, create some rules for yourself and some new habits. When you check email read, reply, download, archive and delete. Set up filters and related folders for email from lists you want to stay subscribed to so those emails go directly to their designated folders. You can do the same for emails related to particular clients or projects you’re working on. If your inbox is really overloaded it might take a few weeks to get things under control, but it can be done.

 


WomanWithUpsidedownClockLet’s talk about that “thing” that keeps you from getting it done. If you’re like most people you don’t know what it is that keeps you from getting things done. You just know that you’re not getting the results that you want, which can be frustrating to say the very least. Before you can improve your productivity, you’ve got to know what the issue is.

If you’re struggling you already know what that feels like…working the extra time to get it all done, having what seems like too much on your plate and no room for you and rushing to satisfy and keep your clients. Facing your challenge first means identifying what it is that has you struggling. If something were ailing you physically, you would seek to determine what the problem was so that it could be remedied.

There are a lot of things that cause people to be challenged: procrastination, cluttered office space or disorganization, email overload and chasing those BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects) is a big problem for creative types, not that others don’t do it. Then there’s lack of focus, lack of proper tools and systems and non-supportive habits.

You have to look at your every-day work life to see what’s challenging you. You are caught up. Overloaded. You are caught up in the everyday to-dos of business and family, multiple overloaded inboxes, calendars and tasks on your to-do list.

This is what’s going on…You have multiple mobile devices— your laptop, smart phone and probably a tablet and other tools too. I do. I’ve got my BlackBerry, my tablet and my laptop. The multiple devices isn’t really the issue if they’re needed. The issue is the lack of management of them.

There’s social media, your piles of paper and cluttered work space. Add to that all of the things that you need to do and the places you need to be and yes, you’re caught up.

To identify the things that challenge you, just take a look at your behavior, which takes some effort because being human, we get caught up in routine things and ways of being. Start logging every minute of  your time. What you’re working on and your start and finish times. Log the times that you stop for a snack or for lunch or to take a break. Log the time that you spend on the phone and on social media. You even want to log the time that you spend socializing or chit chatting online or on the phone. Be sure to document all of it so that when you look back you have a clear picture with all of the details. You want something that will let you see exactly what you’re doing so that you can know what your oppressor is. If you’re going to get beyond what impedes you, you have to identify and acknowledge it so it can be faced and dealt with.

 


SaneBoxIf you’re like most, email might be a bit out of control with hundreds or maybe even thousands of emails, most of them unopened. You have lists you’ve subscribed to sending email and probably some unsolicited items too. They’re coming in so fast you just can’t handle it. You’ve tried hitting your inbox to remedy the overgrown number, but to no avail and if you do get the number down, they come right back at you with what seems to be even more determination.

If you can relate to this, you might want to consider using SaneBox. It’s an add on tool that works with your current email client to keep your inbox from being out of control. You set the rules and it follows them. Gotta love that! It organizes your email and makes sure that you get the important stuff by prioritizing important emails and summarizing the rest. There’s nothing to download and nothing new to learn.

It uses smart filtering and other productivity features live One Click Unsubscribe that lets you drag an email into the “SaneBlackHole” folder, and you’ll never hear from that sender again. To add to the productivity mix, SaneBox notifies you when an email you sent isn’t replied to by a certain time, so you can follow up. Additionally, it allows you to place an email in a Snooze Folder and then SaneBox will place it back in your Inbox when it’s convenient for you. With all these great features, it’s a great solution for ending your inbox insanity. Get more details at the SaneBox website.

 

 

Email Overload


Today we’re all wearing multiple hats and there’s so much to do, including managing email overload.  It may seem at times that your inbox is out of control and has a life of its own.  Believe it or not, you can get a handle on it and manage it effectively.

An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter.  One thing I always tell people is to not check email first thing in the morning.  It’s one of the worst things you can do when it comes to being productive.   Instead, check your email 1.5 to 2 hours after you start your day.  This gives you time to tackle one of your top priority tasks instead, which will have you off to a great start and on your way to a productive day.

There’s more to it than not checking your email as soon as you get to your computer—or your phone or tablet.  To add to my first email tip of not checking email first thing in the morning, have a plan when it comes to checking email.  For most of us checking email once a day isn’t productive.  It can leave too many things hanging.  In addition to checking email 1.5 to 2 hours into your day choose one to two other times during the day to check and reply to email, and turn off your email notifications so that you’re not distracted by it and if that doesn’t work, then close your email altogether.  Set reminders and stay on schedule.   This will ensure that you’re responding to requests in a timely manner, getting things done, and not getting caught up in email overload.

Additionally, take the steps to organize your email.  Create email sub folders within your email account to sort your emails by category. Label the sub folders with categories that will make it easy for you to distinguish.   For example, use different subjects, projects, client or coworker names for naming your email sub folders. This makes it easy to choose a category of email to check at a particular time.  Once those are set up put your flags and filters to use.  Flagging helps you recognize particular types of email faster.  For example, you can flag emails that you have read and are your priority to reply with one color so that they are visually separated for your preference the next time you open your email.

Use filters to help enhance the use of the sub folders that you set up.  Filters allow you to create “rules” for sending emails to designated folders when they come into your inbox.  This is a nice feature to use to help get email to the appropriate folder.  You might set up particular rules for any email with a particular phrase in the subject line to go to a certain folder.  Let’s say you have a marketing project you’re working on.  Ask that those sending related emails contain the name of the project in the subject line, and then set up the related filter rule so that those emails go into the designated folder.  You can do the same to filter email from particular people.  When it comes time to work on that project, you can go directly to that folder instead of searching through the email in your inbox to find all of the email related to that project.  When it comes to filters don’t forget to set something up to corral those ezines and all of the other things that hit your inbox as a result of the lists that you’re subscribed to.  They can fill up your inbox pretty quickly.

The final thing is that you want to get rid of all of the unwanted email that’s coming your way.  There will be people who add you to lists that you didn’t subscribe to, lists that you’ve outgrown or just don’t want information from any longer.  Do yourself a favor and scroll to the bottom of those emails and click the unsubscribe button and get off of those lists.  Make that last step and the others things that you do on a regular basis.  Purge your inbox on a regular basis, continue to create and also delete filters and folders that you need and keep yourself off of lists that aren’t relevant. When you need to save email content or attachments, don’t save them in your inbox.  Use these tools to help you avoid email overload.


One of the biggest time wasters for people is technology.  As much as things are created to help us, technology is a big hindrance for many people and can lead to a great amount of your time being wasted.  Using technology in a way that supports you can increase your productivity.  The day-to-day things that end up on your list can get out of control, so it’s important to keep it lean.

Whether you find technology cumbersome or not, one thing that most people have to deal with no matter what they do is email.  We use email for everything now, which cuts down the time it takes to receive things we need and helps keep things moving.  Right now, chances are that your email is overloaded and you might even be wondering how you’re going to get to it all.

If your current email program isn’t helping you to control your email as you’d like, consider using SaneBox.  SaneBox separates your most important emails from the ones that can wait, helping you prioritize the way you read your messages and saving you time and frustration.  Now, this isn’t another email program, it’s an application that works with your current email program, so there’s nothing new to learn.

SaneBox uses up to 5 levels of importance.  You can use those levels to fine tune the flow of your email or you can allow the application to do it for you.   SaneBox uses sophisticated algorithms to prioritize the email you receive. The important stuff goes straight to your inbox and everything else gets stored in other folders for later.  The calculation of importance is done by the algorithmic engine.  Only the engine looks at the headers of your emails and your social network connections, not people.  Their engineers work on the algorithmic engine not the email.  Your email isn’t viewed or seen by the technology or a human being and the application uses encryption to protect your information.

Looking at testimonials on their website, SaneBox is said to have saved users about 2 hours every week.  What would it be like to have email under control once and for all?  Better yet, what would it be like to have 2 hours of your precious time back?  Visit the SaneBox website for more information.  If you have employees and you’re looking to free up hours for your employees, consider SaneBox for Business.

©2012 Sheila Hawkins, Third Eye Group.  All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article can be published without the permission of the author.

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