Stop Being a Slave to Your Email


Professionals often feel buried under their email, but time management experts say there are ways to avoid feeling swamped. Getting Things Done author David Allen tells the Wall Street Journal you should take immediate action on any messages that require two minutes of your time or less. Other advice includes disabling new email alerts that interrupt your workflow and unsubscribing from email lists you don’t really need. What are some tips you’ve used to reduce the inbox clutter in your life? Share it in the comments.


  • I have recently written a time management report specifically for Internet Marketers however alot of the email management techniques I employ are relevant.

    Heres a few:

    Plan to check emails at a set time (maybe every hour or 2 hours dependant on circumstance, business hours etc..). Outside of this time, turn your email client off completely – its just too tempting to check.

    Action all messages that can be done so in 1 – 2 minutes or less. For all of those that cannot, then note these to be prioritized for action.

    If this is just too much or you are expecting urgent correspondence (maybe this should have been planned for but we cant always plan for everything) then ALWAYS ensure you hve your automatic alerts (both audio and visual) turned off.

    Always Use filters and rules – Manually handling messages in your inbox is a huge time waster. Set filters for all incoming messages so that these are directed straight to the relevant project folder for action. To do this efficientlty, use the short cut functions.
    remeber to prioritze the action of these folders!

    Did I say always? There is one exception. Do not try and set rules for SPAM messages. These are constantly changing (as per a SPAMMERS Porogative) – its time inefficient and almost impossible to do so. If you recieve high volumes of SPAM, consider increasing the level of your automatic SPAM filters and then use your safe senders lists.

    Basic things such as ensuring your email clients viewing pane is on so to allow a brief scan of a message and ensuring you have the ‘search’ or find’ function availble to recover old messages quickly is important as are proactive techniques such as unsubscribing from mailing lists and newsletters that are not valuable to your current focus.

    Sending and recieving emails form friends is always great fun however highly unproductive – as such, do so outside of business hours.

    Every second counts!

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