Tuesday To Do: Tame Your Inbox

tame your inbox featLong weekend, full inbox. Oh, hello Tuesday.

Am I the only who feels like the longer the weekend is, the less things get crossed off of your list? If the point of a long weekend is to regroup, relax and do close to do nothing, then mission accomplished on my end. And I hope you all had a moment to do the same.

And now, to jump back into reality.

Tuesday To Do: Tame Your Inbox

If you’re new to the blog, Tuesday To Do is a weekly series where I share an easy to implement action item to help get your week on track even if your Monday was less than productive. You can read more posts in the series here.

If the thought of diving into your inbox on any day gives you anxiety, then I recommend giving this post on time saving inbox tips a read first.

Delete the insignificant

Those terribly written mass pitch letters, spam messages and junk emails can go first. You’d be surprised at just how many emails you can eliminate just by getting rid of the clutter. If you’re subscribed to get emails from shops and stores, 80% of your inbox is likely in reference to holiday sales that are no longer relevant.

Toss those in the trash and move on to what matters.

Quick responses first

My general rule is that if an email can be replied to in under two minutes, do it now rather than later. Any messages that appear need only a bit of quick attention should be taken care of first. No need to make someone wait another day and a half just to confirm a meeting time or say thank you.

Set clear expectations

For emails that aren’t as quick to deal with, it’s nice to give some indication of when you’ll be able to dedicate full attention to the sender. This often helps to alleviate the need for dozens of follow up emails…that only clog up your inbox more…and that you’ll likely avoid as well.

This doesn’t have to be super complex, just a simpleΒ “Hi X, I’m making my way through emails from the weekend and need to give this a bit more thought. I’ll take a bit more time with this this and get back to your with a more detailed response by next week’s end. Take care.”

Easy, simple and to the point.

Dedicate time to keep working

Once you’ve made your way through the deletions, quick responses and talk to you laters, it’s time to implement a process so that you can keep up with the messages that need more detailed responses and others that come in during the week. Set aside some time every day that you dedicate solely to your inbox.

You’ll be in living in inbox bliss before you know it!

How do you tackle emails after a long weekend or vacation? Share you inbox secrets in the comments!

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  1. I’m a compulsive email checker, so I hardly ever have clutter in my inbox! If there’s an email I’m not ready to respond to, I’ll leave it unread so that I still have that annoying notification to go back to. Lately I’ve been making better use of pinning some emails to the top of my inbox (like emails with important dates, forms, etc.) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s