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9 Ways to Get a Better Grip on Your Email Inbox

We live in a world where email is at our immediate disposal. With the rapidly growing number of smartphone users, there is a rising temptation to constantly check our email inboxes.

Did you know that the average employee checks his email 36 times an hour? That means the typical employee will check his email a total of 288 times throughout an 8-hour workday. That has got to cut into productivity, right?

You know that when running a small business, every minute counts. That’s why we wanted to share 9 tips for getting a better grip on your email inbox to save you time and help you focus on generating revenue for your business:

1. Turn Off Notifications
The dings, flashes, and vibrations associated with a new email arriving in your inbox can be incredibly distracting. It’s human nature to wonder who is trying to reach you, which is why it’s necessary to disable push notifications on your phone, turn down the volume on your computer, and close your email inbox when you’re not using it.

2. Limit Your Email Checks to 3 Times a Day
Imagine all of the work you could get done if you went from an average of 288 email checks per day to just 3? First thing in the morning, right after lunch, and an hour before you leave the office for the day.

3. Don’t Make Email Your Default Method of Communication
If you do this, your email inbox can be an unbearable beast to tackle.

Aside from this point, if you need an answer in under 3 hours, choose an alternative form of communication, such as a phone call or in-person visit. By modeling this behavior and not flooding your employees’ inboxes, you’ll encourage your team to do the same.

4. Use Folders to Sort Your Emails
Many people choose not to delete emails because they want to be able to refer to them in the future if necessary. This results in an overflowing email inbox that is incredibly difficult to sift through to find messages.

Instead, take advantage of folders inside your email inbox to keep these messages organized. For example, you could categorize these folders as “urgent,” “deadline-oriented,” and “needs more thought.”

5. Avoid Checking Your Email When You Can’t Give It the Proper Attention
Make a point to check your email only when you have time to respond. Otherwise, if you simply have time to react to an email, it could easily be forgotten about.

6. Delete Any Emails You Don’t Need
If you don’t need an email, delete it. The more emails you let pile up in your inbox, the more out of control your email inbox can become.

7. Embrace the 2 Minute Rule
Any emails that can be responded to within 2 minutes should be addressed immediately. If it will take you longer than 2 minutes to respond, sort the emails into folders to be addressed at a later time.

8. Remember the Purpose of Email
The intention for sending an email is for quick and simple communication. If you find yourself constantly going back-and-forth with someone via email, simply pick up the phone and finish the conversation.

9. Avoid the Flood of Emails by Unsubscribing
There are a number of retailer emails that hit your inbox every day that you have no intention of reading. Take advantage of a tool like Mailstrom that allows you to unsubscribe to these emails in mass.

Take advantage of these 9 powerful tips for immediate results for taking control of your email inbox.

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1 Average median salary in Florida for ‘Marketing Director’, based on research by Glassdoor. 2 Retirement calculated at 3% contribution, based on research by nirsonline.org. 3 Health premium average calculated by ranges provided from a 2016 Health Benefits survey. 4 Total employee average calculated at first year and includes the following considerations: $4k onboarding and training, $1k software and subscriptions, and $3.75k outsourcing help. Total agency average based on Florida-located, full-service agency.