Get Rid of Email Overload Once and For All (Part 1)

outlook logo thumb7 Get Rid of Email Overload Once and For All (Part 1)

So, you’re tired of getting bogged down by a flood of emails, and want more time to focus on your work?

While email has completely revolutionized the way we work, it also comes with nasty side effects.

Consider this :

“The average American employee spends about a quarter of their working day (around one and three quarter hours) dealing with email. Three out of ten spend more than two hours and almost one in ten (8 per cent) spend an astonishing four hours or more a day pouring over their inboxes.” via Management-Issues.com

We are copied on too many emails we don’t need to read. Our work is disrupted by emails that we feel we must attend to on the spot. We spend the whole day clearing emails when we return from a holiday, at times not knowing even where to begin.

Here’s my personal method of dealing with email overload in Outlook. The first lesson on email Zen is that “a clear inbox equals a clear mind “.

Get to ZERO Emails in Your Inbox in 6 Easy Steps

  1. All personal emails is moved to a seperate folder right away – to be read after work, or during a break.
  2. Sort all email by subject – so I can read all related emails at one go.
  3. Every work email that I can answer in less than 2 minutes – I do so, send it off on the spot, and delete it.
  4. Delete everything you don’t need to act on. Yes, everything.
  5. Everything else gets flagged, with reminder attached based on priority
  6. All flagged items gets dragged into a follow-up folder – out of sight, out of mind.

Repeat this process, and you’ll get to zero emails in your inbox in no time, allowing you to get focused on the important work right away.

Note: Email shouldn’t be permanently deleted, just let it sit in your ‘deleted items’ folder. Do not enable any options that will automatically empty your ‘deleted items’ folder upon exiting Outlook.

Part 1: Get to Zero Email In Your Inbox

Part 2: Working From Your Followup Folder

Part 3: Fine Tune Your Outlook Workflow

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  3. [...] in 2006 I wrote about how I got my Outlook Inbox to ZERO emails, and how it changed my life. Today I don’t use Microsoft Outlook but I have successfully fully [...]

  4. [...] in 2006 I wrote about how I got my Outlook Inbox to ZERO emails, and how it changed my life. Today I don’t use Microsoft Outlook but I have successfully fully [...]