Yes it is true, you can manage your emails with less pain .. and even find joy in your inbox! I know it all sounds a little crazy, stay with me!
The first and most important step is to remove yourself from the modern day collective “whinge” about email, it is not that bad, it is simply what we make it. I am guessing that the volume of your email does not compare to some others, and you also need to understand and accept that it is not all about the number of emails you have to manage!
Email really is amazing, take a step back and think about it. There was a time when mailing letters was the equivalent! There really is no comparison in terms of ease, speed and efficiency. Lets remember to focus on this at those times when it feels less than amazing.
I will share something with you, I actually enjoy opening, reading and dealing with my emails. It has not always been this way, there was a time when I joined the collective whinging and complained every morning, rolled my eyes and avoided it because it was all too hard. Those days are long gone now and it has made my life a lot easier, emails are not going away, unless you simply close your eyes and delete them all every morning, and I don’t recommend that.
So here are my tips for managing your emails and finding some joy in your inbox:
♡ If you are doing what you love in life, then naturally your inbox will be filled with emails that excite you! I know this is a little more complicated for some, if you are in a job that does not excite you and you are dreaming of something more meaningful then it is going to be harder for you to find the joy in your inbox! If this is the case, I strongly recommend that you subscribe to at least 3 really beautiful, meaningful newsletters, to break up the monotony of your normal emails. I recommend: Collective Hub, Esther and Tiny Buddha.
♡ If it is the case that you struggle to find any joy in your work inbox, I recommend implementing a really organised approach, if the stress of managing your email is minimised then you are less likely to be negative about the content.
♡ My system for managing and organising my emails is fairly simple: If I can respond to something adequately within 2 minutes then I do that immediately upon reading the email and then it is filed, if it is simply information then I file it into the relevant email folder immediately, if it needs further action or reading and is going to take longer than 2 minutes to complete it goes into a special folder I have called ‘TO-DO’. This is my virtual to do list specifically for emails. My rule is that there cannot be any more than 10 emails in this folder at any time. My other important rule is that my main inbox is ALWAYS empty.
♡ Further to being organised is the important step of scaling back the volume of email you receive. At work this is sometimes beyond your control, although unsubscribing from as much as possible makes a huge difference. I prefer to keep up to date with my favourite blogs, brands and charities by their Facebook updates and my news feed. I have less than 10 email newsletters that I choose to allow into my inbox only! Be a bit ruthless here! Also remember to minimise your use of the dreaded “Reply all” button, use only when absolutely necessary or you will start a wild fire that you cannot control!
♡ Always be extra, ‘above and beyond’ kind and nice when reading emails, replying to emails and in all of your communications. I can guarantee that this will change the way you experience email. If you put more kindness into your emails, you will receive more kindness back from others. If you can create a communication style that is authentically, beautifully you then emails will become a lot more pleasant in general.
Let me know how you feel about your emails?