At the start of 2018, I had over 12,000 emails in my inbox. Most of the time, my inbox felt start crowded, and disorganized. For someone who likes to have an organization, this is a counter-productive and hypercritical way to life. It also gave me anxiety because I started to feel that I would miss an email if I deleted anything in the inbox. It really reduced my productivity.
According to a survey by Adobe Systems Inc., every day, workers spend 6.3 hours checking their emails. One-third of these workers admitted to receiving 100 emails daily, while one in ten said they receive up to 200 emails daily. 44% of these workers bother about missing a crucial email.
Of course, a cluttered inbox is not the fault of the individual, because these emails seem to troop in by the minute. As you step into 2019, here are a few ways of improving your productivity (as well as your sanity) by decluttering your inbox. Below are some ideas that I help to declutter and reduce my digital fingerprint in my inbox.
Be mindful of what you subscribe to:
Before doing anything else, the primary measure you would want to take is to try to prevent the sheer number of emails you get daily by minding what you subscribe to. Many sites lure you to subscribe on different occasions. For example, websites require that you input your email before downloading a free item, such as a free e-book or app.
These sites immediately add you to mailing lists and bombard you with newsletters and various offers. Not only that, they share your email with partner brands/sites, who would also send you unwanted emails. In 2019, to declutter your inbox, you must be picky on what you subscribe to, to declutter your inbox.
Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe:
Similar to the first point, whenever you come across a sender who either spams your inbox or sends emails you do not need, instead of merely deleting their email, unsubscribe from their emailing list as well. Ideally, you should unsubscribe from 90% of all these lists.
It takes a few extra seconds to unsubscribe, but those would be seconds well spent. However, you can use a service like Swizzle, which enables you to unsubscribe from multiple lists simultaneously.
Set up Priority Inbox:
Priority inbox boosts your productivity by placing new emails in two locations on your inbox – important and unimportant. Priority Inbox sorts the emails automatically, based on the sender and/or subject line.
With Priority Inbox set up, when you get to work in the morning, you will not be greeted by hundreds of received emails; instead, you will see around 15 essential emails that need your urgent attention. The unimportant promotional emails, newsletters, and so forth will be categorized as ‘unimportant.’
Create Inbox filters:
You can set up filters with many email clients. Filters have multiple essential uses – they allow you to label emails, move emails between folders quickly, delete emails, and lots more. With the aid of email filters, you can push certain emails to specific folders as they arrive. You may check these folders at intervals. Be sure to unsubscribe from irrelevant senders also (see step 2).
Trying Using Boomerang:
Boomerang is a Chrome and Firefox free plugin that improves your efficiency and productivity by giving you superpowers over your inbox. It lets you carry out tasks like scheduling future sending of emails, configuring the movement of emails between folders at specific times (for instance, moving your flight itinerary from a particular folder to your primary inbox, 30 minutes before your departure time), and many more.
We tend to leave emails in our inboxes to remind ourselves of important stuff. This contributes to the cluttering of the inbox. Use Boomerang to clear out your inbox and bring back your emails whenever you need them.
Opt out of receiving social media notifications:
Notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., contribute roughly 25% of the daily emails most people receive. Just like the unsubscribing measure to take to declutter your inbox, you should take out time to opt out of receiving these social media notifications. You would probably check out your social media anyways, so you don’t need to get the same notifications on your inbox. For instance, Facebook notifies you of virtually everything; from comments and friend requests, to even posts by specific people. This would considerably declutter your inbox.
Make use of your calendar: Interestingly, some of the unwanted emails cluttering your inbox are not from external senders but from you. Most people like to store essential tasks on their email. While this might be useful, saving them to the ‘notes’ section of your calendar is far more productive and convenient. Further, if you keep them on your email, they will contribute to the unwanted items there whenever you are done with the task.
Improving your productivity in the new year takes a lot, but seemingly unnoticeable changes such as an organized and uncluttered inbox goes a long way. Implement the above necessary measures to tune-up your inbox, and ultimately your productivity in 2019.
References & More Tips can be found here:
Tips for Taming Your Inbox: http://listhubnews.com/tips-for-taming-your-inbox-2/
DR 133: Inbox Zero–A Simple Strategy to Conquer Your E-mail http://www.doughroller.net/tech/inbox-zero-a-simple-strategy-to-conquer-your-e-mail/
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