Like most people you have an inbox. Tell the truth about it and you’ve got multiple inboxes, right? Hopefully you have multiple virtual mail boxes because it’s your way of separating your business and personal worlds, not because you added them frivolously.

Given the times and the overload of information we each get on a daily basis, people are inundated with email. Most of us receive about 150 emails a day and for many the majority go without being read. This has become the norm and people have come accustomed to being on multiple email lists and part of their regular rhythm is to continue to subscribe to more.

There’s way too much going on that has your inbox (or inboxes) get and stay bogged down and cluttered and this does absolutely nothing for you in regards to staying productive.

  • An average of 150 emails a day
  • Most go unread
  • Staying subscribed to lists that no longer serve you or your interest
  • Missing what you need to have access to

Your inbox deserves better and so do you. Treating your inbox like sacred space means setting a criteria for what is allowed. So now you might be saying, “But where do I start?” because you’ve got 30K emails plus and just can’t see it happening.  You can get there one step at a time and here’s your check list:

  1. Take inventory. What’s there? Emails that haven’t been read, things you kept because of the attachments or other info? If you haven’t read it, delete it and if it’s from a list you subscribed to, get off the list. Chances are you haven’t read much of what they’ve send and won’t. Save any attached documents to your computer, get info into a file and dates into your calendar and delete, delete, delete!
  2. Get off the list. Sort your inbox alphabetically by sender so you can see what you get regularly. You might not even remember who some of those people are, so open one of the emails, scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe from what’s not relevant. If you have a long list of subscriptions, check out Unroll.Me and instantly see all your subscription emails and get rid of what you don’t want. Once you’re done, delete those emails.
  3. Make your list. Now determine the email that you want to allow; what deserves space. Be tough and make sure you can justify why something needs to hit your inbox.
  4. Set up an email tool like SaneBox to keep the order. It will review your email history and habits, keep the unimportant stuff out of your inbox so you can focus on what matters. The unimportant things got to another folder for you to review later. Once you set it up and have a clean inbox, you can clean up the “Sane Later” folder and then do the regular maintenance.
  5. Create supportive habits. Moving forward you need habits to keep your inbox sacred so set times to check email during the day, use folders and filters to send certain emails to designated folders and check them regularly. Download attachments and info you need and delete the email and empty your trash folder daily.