This blog post is inspired by one of the outcomes from my recent survey. The question asked what three aspects of work take up large amounts of time or that you get the least amount of satisfaction from. I’m sure it will be no surprise that keeping up with emails and social media were two of the largest reoccurring statements made.

To many of us, the passing on of dealing with emails would be desirable. We get so many these days! However actually building on a business or client relationship with an individual is still really important.

We all have busy lives these days. You will know best if you have a couple of consecutive hours once a week or month, or ten to fifteen minutes once or twice a day to tackle that long list of emails.

The following are two systems I use. Hopefully, you will find some tips useful to try and apply for yourself. Good Luck!

System 1

  • If you have emails going back over a year. Start at the bottom of the list. It will make it easier and quicker to decide that these are no longer needed.
  • Ask yourself the question why am I keeping this? If you haven’t got a good enough answer delete.
  • Some emails may be sales and promotions such as M&S or Travel Agencies that you don’t really want to receive. Two things to do here:
    • Scroll down to the bottom of the emails select unsubscribe. You’ll be surprised how much this will reduce your inbox every week, as some send three or four emails a week! I would then scroll down the email list and delete all the ones sent from this company. (Some email providers let you sort your inbox by name in the top bar, this will really speed this process up for you.)
    • The second option is to mark the email as junk and block the sender.
  • Your next set of emails to delete may need more consideration as to why you are keeping them! I tend to keep my inbox to emails which need me to act upon. There are others I need to keep which over time I may need to revisit. For this I create sub-folders under my inbox. Keep the folder names generic and don’t create to many. Ones I currently have for instance are:
    • Insurance
    • Invoices
    • Clients
    • Pending
    • Networking
    • CPD
    • IT Related
  • To create new folders follow these steps below:
    • Hover your mouse over ‘inbox’ in the left column
    • ‘Right click your mouse or track pad,’ this will give you the option to create a ‘new folder.’
    • Select this and name it precisely to reflect and store emails you really want and need to keep.
    • To move emails from your inbox to your new folders go to the toolbar row at the top of your window and look for the ‘move’ option.
    • Simply click and highlight the email you wish to move, take your mouse over to the ‘move’ option and press select, it will then give you the option to move it to any of your newly named folders.

System 2

  • Set yourself goal to go no higher than the number of emails you currently have.
  • Challenge yourself to reducing that number by 5 – 10 a day or week dependent on your schedule.
  • Repeat this until you have the number of emails you’re comfortable with for your inbox.

To find out more about how I can help you with your systems and procedures please click: Executive support remotely for your business and wider life