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Do you receive more than 50 emails a day? Do you struggle to keep up with any more than this?

4th December 2015

5 Tough Tips to keep your email in check

Studies frequently show that receiving more than a certain number of emails a day can break someone’s threshold. I still remember one study a few years ago in the USA that indicated 50 emails to be the tipping point for most people. Is 50 your tipping point?

According to the 2010 survey by Harris Interactive, ‘once people head north of that number, most say they can’t keep up. Only six percent said they could bear more than 50 emails a day. The survey, commissioned by email provider Intermedia, questioned about 2,000 American adults which included around 340 employees of small businesses.

Does this sound like you? Do you drown in your work email to the point that you eventually start over every few weeks?

Fast forward five years and you may recall that at the start of 2015 Facebook launched a new app that was aimed to expand FB’s presence within companies and other places of work. Facebook at Work lets users create a work account that is separate from their personal Facebook account. With a Facebook at Work account, people use Facebook tools to interact with co-workers. Many companies are now keen to adopt such software because of complaints that a deluge of messages has made email a poor tool to keep in touch with. I totally understand it and can see why Facebook at Work has been created.

The only thing is, Facebook at Work is only available to some companies, and you need a work account to use it. I am sure that will change in time though.

In the meantime, here are 5 Tough Tips to keep your email in check – your inbox will thank you!

  1. It reflects on you

Some people think it’s okay to let their email pile sky high. They think that just because it’s not paper, it’s Okay to keep 1,000’s of emails in their inbox and even more in the 100’s of subfolders they’ve created.

However, if your desk at work has that much piled up, don’t you think your boss would take action? You bet they would! So why is virtual clutter more acceptable than physical mess?

The way you manage your emails tells others a lot about how you’re likely to handle the other aspects of your job. Does this tell them you’re structured, productive and focused or that you’re a disorganised hoarder who struggles to prioritise?

  1. Ignore it

This tip may upset a few people – but not all email is worthy of a response.

You spamming me does not mean that I have to waste my time responding to you. And yes, work spam counts!

There are people who are masters of shuffling email to make it look like they are working. Resist the temptation to respond to every frivolous email that has popped into your inbox. Avoid engaging with the small shufflers.

  1. You open, it you own it

A favourite tip! You just opened that email asking if you can attend that meeting next week. So, you close it and decide to look at it again later, and it now sits there in your inbox.

Instead, if you open an email take action RIGHT THEN!

Either answer it, file it or add it to your ‘To Do’ list. Then get the email out of your inbox. This one tip can change the landscape of your inbox forever!

  1. Forget it

Don’t read an email when you shouldn’t.

Do you read your email at night before bed? At the weekend? On holiday? Why?!

Are you going to take action on it immediately? Probably not.

Only read email when you’re in a position to take action. Otherwise, you’re just creating unnecessary stress for yourself. Remember, email, should be a tool, not a leash!

  1. Set expectations

If people expect you to sit in front of your computer all day long and jump every time they send you something, then they will keep expecting you to do it!

Ensure that the standard you set is that your email is for non-urgent communication. If something IS urgent, make sure your colleagues call you or come and see you in person.

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