E-mail drives me nuts. At times, I used to feel completely overwhelmed by it. I’m so reluctant to sign up for anything using my e-mail address because I know the end result is more junk clogging my consciousness.
Several years ago I decided to get organized and learn everything I could about managing e-mail. It was then when I adopted the use of rules, sometimes complicated, decision-trees that ended up sorting mail just the way I wanted it. I unsubscribed to everything possible and for e-mail I should keep, but not necessarily read, I set up automatic sorting and storage for that as well.
The tough part is ignoring the call to be slave to the incoming message. I refuse to do it! Texting and calling is immediate response technology, and even with that, if I’m meeting with someone in person, they have my full attention, and you’re going to get a call or text back later when I can give YOU my full attention.
I’ve learned that the best way to manage e-mail is to check it 2-3 times a day. I’ve noticed on days when I have several meetings, I end up checking it only twice anyway — and nothing bad happens!
The second tip — which is even harder to accomplish than the first and is my daily challenge — is the “touch it once” philosophy. When a message comes in, you either trash it, respond to it, or flag/move it to an action list.
What tips do you have for managing e-mail? Do you hate it as much as I do?