Monday, July 17, 2017

How Many Emails Do You Have in Your Inbox? Four Ways to Decrease that Number

Sometimes my email feels as cluttered as this bed!

A couple of years ago, I read that having a bunch of emails in your inbox can make it feel cluttered.  Since I was in the middle of decluttering my house, I thought that was significant.  A little later, I read that Crystal Paine tries to keep only five emails in her inbox at a time.  I thought, Wow!  What a concept!

At the time, I probably had about a hundred emails in my inbox which really isn't very many.  But I immediately started whittling down that number.  It took a month or two, but I finally got it down to less than ten.  And I was amazed at how clean and clear my inbox looked, how un-stressful it was to check my email.  I determined then to keep my inbox fairly empty.

How do I do that?
  1. Unsubscribe.  I saw that I was receiving a lot of email that I wasn't even opening before I deleted them.  So I opened one up and unsubscribed.  It was so freeing not to get those emails anymore!  Five seconds well spent!
  2. Delete.  I delete any and every email that I can as soon as I can.  While I enjoy getting notices from Redbox about their new releases, I don't want to keep those emails.  I look at them, make a mental or written note, and delete them.  
  3. Respond.  I deal with every other email as soon as I can.  If I need to reply to an email, I try to write it as soon as possible -- and then delete it.  If I get a coupon, I either use it as soon as I can or delete it if I don't think I'm going to use it.
  4. File.  I move emails into files.  I don't know about you, but I order a lot online.  It's just easier than taking all five of my children with me.  But I had to figure out what to do with those emails.  I made a file "orders en route."  Whenever I order something, I put that email (and subsequent ones) in that file.  I have one for my CC emails, along with those that deal with soccer and swimming.  I need them, but I don't need to look at them everyday.  
Typically, I have about ten emails in my inbox every night when I go to bed.  It takes me all day to deal with some of them, and honestly, it stresses me out some when I see them and can't take care of them yet.  But it's a lovely feeling to have a cleaned out inbox.

How many emails do you regularly have in your inbox?  Is that too many or just right?  

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