I always say that clutter does not discriminate and it can affect anyone. And in today’s world, clutter can even happen in your virtual world. On average people get anywhere between 50-200 emails a day between all their email accounts. Even if you are the most productive individual in the world, handling this mass of emails daily can become a burden. Regardless of what your inbox looks like today, or how many emails you get on a daily basis, or how many emails are currently seating unread, we can all benefit from inbox clutter tips and suggestions:
Tip 1: Limit the Traffic!
Throughout the year we visit different sites and offers, sign up for deals, subscribe to newsletters. As a result, you have so many emails coming through daily that you can’t even take advantage of something that might benefit you. And when you are looking for it, you are lucky if you can locate it.
So, limit the number of emails that come to you every day. Commit a week to unsubscribing to everything that is no longer relevant to you. You should also unsubscribe to information that you can easily find on company’s website, like Groupon deals. I like to dedicate a week in the fall when I just unsubscribe! The first couple of days are a bit tedious, but then you really start seeing less traffic and the process of unsubscribing becomes manageable.
Tip 2: Eliminate and De-Clutter!
It is very important to set time aside to do this every day for a few days or even weeks. This is not something you can potentially resolve in a matter of hours, but if you can, I really do applaud you! I personally like to list all my emails either by subject or by name and then delete, delete and delete! Delete everything that you have completed and don’t need to refer back to, invitations and celebrations that have passed, travel details from years ago, notices and updates, and you get the idea. You can even track your record or emails deleted on a daily basis so you can celebrate little achievements and see how far you have come.
Tip 3: Create Folders and File!
Once you have limited your traffic, eliminated clutter; now you can create folders for relevant emails and file them accordingly. There is no correct or perfect way to file. You have to find a system that works best for you. Personally, I like to file by year and then create sub categories within each year like projects, photos, events, family and friends, and any work related categories. This way if you are looking for something in particular, you can go to that folder and search by name or subject matter.
Like with any closet or living space, you want to address your inbox at least once a year so your life can be more manageable and you can find things easy and as a result become highly productive. So schedule a time on your calendar to tackle this task and have fun with it. Organizing does not have to be a chore, you just have to take time to do it even in the virtual world.