How to reduce email overload

We’re relying on email more than ever to communicate; in this post pandemic world we’re all working in a more virtual way whether we are back in the office or not. How do we reduce the email overload appearing into our inboxes everyday?

According to a McKinsey Report, the average professional spends about 28% of their workday reading and answering emails! That seems like a lot of distraction, leaving minimal time and space for project and deep thinking work.

So, what do we do about it? How do we reach that elusive “Inbox Zero”? Here are three very simple ways to claim that time back and reduce the email overload…


1. Don’t send as many emails!

This may sound obvious, but next time you’re about to click “compose”, ask yourself could this email be a phone call or a quick chat?

Is the matter urgent or unclear? If so, this is the perfect time to revert back to a good old fashioned phone call, not only will you receive an answer quickly but you will have the opportunity to clear up any questions and analyse any potential nuance that would have been lost through email. Added bonus: a phone call also gives you the opportunity to build report with the recipient of your call.

2. Set aside time for email.

When you’re planning your day, set aside an hour or so to solely focus on clearing your inbox. Perhaps for you this is best done at the start of your day when you’re feeling energised or maybe at the end to tie-up loose ends. Either way, ensure you use this time and this time only to deal with your inbox, try not to be tempted to dip in and out during the day leading to distraction.

3. Do it, delete it or delegate it.

As you make your way through your inbox, take action, don’t just leave it there. Either…

– Do it: handle the email then and there then file it in the appropriate folder
– Delete it: if it’s not important or relating specifically to you, delete it.
– Delegate it: not all tasks can or need to be done by you, is there someone in your team who would be better placed to take on this email? If so, politely forward it on and remove it from your inbox.

So, will you be aiming for “Inbox Zero” today?

If these tips were handy but not quite game-changing enough for you to conquer your unruly email inbox and increase your productivity. Join our upcoming Productivity & Accomplishment short course – October 27 and 28 2022.

Download the course brochure below.

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