Mastering the Inbox: 7 Actionable Tips to Beat Email Overload

Feel like your inbox is burning a hole in your life? Email overload at work is real, so how can you effectively manage your email to stop it taking over your life?

Mastering the Inbox: 7 Actionable Tips to Beat Email Overload
Your email inbox can feel like a battlefield of modern communication, where email overload reigns supreme. Inboxes bursting at the seams, unread messages multiplying by the minute —it's enough to make even the bravest among us tremble. Fear not, we're here to arm you with practical tips to conquer email overload and manage your inbox like a pro.

What is email overload?

Email overload is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the volume of emails in your inbox. It feels like a relentless onslaught of messages that flood your inbox, leaving you overwhelmed and stressed. It can feel like trying to navigate a crowded marketplace with vendors vying for your attention from all sides.
It can be caused by a number of factors, including:
  • Receiving too many emails
  • Not having a system for managing your emails
  • Not prioritising your emails
  • Letting your inbox pile up

How does email overload affect you?

Email overload can have a number of negative effects on how you’re feeling and can make it difficult to prioritise tasks and focus.
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased stress levels
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty prioritising tasks
  • Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out

Seven tips to beat email overload

There’s a few tools and habits you can implement to help you overcome email overload. For example, only checking your inbox at certain times or places during the day. Here’s our top tips on beating email overload.

1. Set specific times to check your emails

Don't let your inbox dictate your day. Instead, set aside specific times to check your email, such as first thing in the morning, after lunch, and before you leave work. This will help you avoid checking your email constantly throughout the day and getting sidetracked.
We really love Inbox When Ready which lets you set email checking times and blocks your inbox view

2. Use tools to manage your inbox

Use folders, labels, and filters to automatically categorise incoming messages, assign labels to specific senders or topics, and filter messages into dedicated folders. This will help you stay on top of your emails as it will limit the number of emails in your view. Gmail is very good at helping you do this or you can use specific tools like Inbox When Ready

3. Use the Three D’s: Delete, Delegate, Do

When faced with a crowded inbox at work, try the three D's strategy: Delete, Delegate, Do.
1. Delete unnecessary emails that no longer serve a purpose. 2. Delegate tasks when appropriate by forwarding emails to the right people. 3. Do - tackle actionable items immediately to prevent them from lingering.
By mastering the art of the three D's, you'll slay the email overload beast one task at a time.

4. Use email templates

Why waste time reinventing the wheel with every email when you can harness the power of templates? Create reusable email templates for common responses or inquiries. Customise them as needed to add a personal touch. Templates save you time and ensure consistent communication while maintaining a friendly and professional tone.
Read this handy article by Google about how to use hacks in the Gmail inbox

5. Only reply to emails at your desk

This is a really easy way to keep out of office hours stress free. Only reply to emails when you’re at your laptop rather than on the move. And definitely don’t check your emails when you first wake up. Start your morning by getting outside for a walk as quickly as you can. The sunlight and morning movement will help your body wake up to get in the groove of the day.

6. Declutter your inbox

Do an email purge - unsubscribe from newsletters, marketing emails, and any subscriptions that you no longer read. And if you get a lot of spam, delete it immediately. This will help you reduce the number of emails in your inbox and make it easier to manage.

7. Switch off email notifications

If you have apps on your phones and notifications on, it’s easy to start replying to emails on a walk or during downtime. Switch off notifications and schedule time to reply to emails when you’re at your desk.
Email overload is a real problem, but it doesn't have to be. By following these tips, you can get your inbox under control and start feeling more productive and less stressed.
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