Email Overhaul

So many things compete for your attention during the business day. That’s why simplifying your working life is an important step toward directing your focus and putting you on a steeper path to success.

By Jennifer Adamson

May 2016

Email Overhaul

Lora Newman is Founder and Owner of Zero2Sixty Performance Coaching LLC. By identifying roadblocks professionals face and suggesting ways to eliminate them, she helps clients achieve health and wealth. Newman’s tips for decluttering your inbox will increase your efficiency and free you to attend to other important aspects of your job.

Get organized.

Creating folders for different types of emails is a smart way to prevent your inbox from overflowing. “Those messages are still easily accessible, but they’re out from in front of you,” Newman says. Folder titles could include sender name, project name or miscellaneous.

Mark important messages.

Smartphones make it possible to check email anywhere, but doing so can divide your attention and lead to careless responses. Next time your notification sounds at an inopportune time, flag that new message to read later. This ensures you’ll deal with the content but at your convenience.

Schedule time to read and respond.

When a promise to reply later goes unmet, it’s time to evaluate how you handle your email. Set aside one or two blocks of uninterrupted time every day for reading and responding. 

Unsubscribe and block.

Remove yourself from mailing lists when the subject matter isn’t useful. Although most promotional emails have an unsubscribe link, you can also filter emails based on email address and automatically send unwanted messages to the trash. 

Delegate and delete.

If you receive emails more suited to someone else’s expertise, forward them and store them to review later for completion or delete them. And consistently delete all messages you don’t need anymore. “Clearing space in every area of your life is a must to increase mental performance,” she says. “If you have a higher level of mental performance, your results are greater.”