After coming back from a 4-day vacation, I read an article – a very timely one at that – about how to clean out your inbox and keep it that way. Here are some of the key takeaways from the article to help effectively manage your inbox:
Commit a set amount of time to catching up on email. In the beginning, more time may need to be set aside, but once a routine has been established, you may find that 15-20 minutes a day is sufficient to manage your emails and keep them in order. When going through email, use the following categories to reduce the number of emails to further address: (1) the no-hesitation delete; (2) for-later filing; and (3) the lightning round of response.
Take action for remaining emails. Once you have filtered through the first round of emails using the categories above, you will be left with the emails that require action. You can further categorize these emails into the following categories: (a) high priority items; (b) items to delegate; and (c) items to defer.
Following these steps will help you achieve Inbox Zero, or at the very least, make your inbox less overwhelming than its current state. To see the full article, click here.