One of the biggest causes of work overload is e-mail management.

Or rather e-mail mismanagement!

For example, how many e-mails do you receive per day?

It’s hard to put a number against how many e-mails you should reasonably receive per day, but as per a recent study the worldwide average on the number of business e-mails sent and received per user was 122.

How do you compare to this?

How to Implement Effective E-mail Management

In priority order do the following:

  1. Tell your team not to cc you into every email they write

 Tell your direct line reports to only copy you into an e-mail or to e-mail you directly when necessary.

Common sense to obviously prevail.

You’re not being an ass tell them, it’s simply a case of managing your inbox.

May be you request a catch up e-mail of all items once or week, or a physical catch up once a week or they send a weekly report through to your Secretary.

But the message has to be clear.

Receiving e-mails from them every three seconds is not acceptable.


  1. Filters direct into folders

To provide clarity, set up automatic rules for e-mails to go directly into certain folders.

This is neater, clearer and will enable you to manage you in box far more effectively.

For example, e-mails from H R Director to go directly into the H R Director Folder.

This way, important e-mails are clearly flagged.

  1. Unsubscribe

Sick of receiving lots of promotional e-mails every day?

Scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe OR put them into spam / junk (some people don’t recommend unsubscribing on certain e-mails).

Plus, be selective as to what you subscribe to in the future.

  1. Only check e-mail at certain times of work day

As per article Remove Distractions – Kick Ass at Work Principal 2

Remove Distractions – Kick Ass at Work – Lesson 2

Only check your in-box at certain times of the day.

  1. Turn off notification sounds and pop ups

Again, as per Remove Remove Distractions – Kick Ass at Work Principal 2, remove sound notifications and pop up notifications for e-mails.

They are the worst distraction.

  1. Write clearer e-mails to avoid the need for lots of query questions

When writing an e-mail or responding to an e-mail be concise and try to include as much detail as is needed (don’t waste time though) to avoid a wave of questions back.

Or be specific; if you are anticipating lots of questions back, be clear as to the forum to raise them.

  1. Write and save generic responses if appropriate

If you send the same e-mail response frequently; save it as a draft to cut n paste as needed instead of typing up new each time.

  1. File Properly

How much time have you wasted searching for e-mails?

Avoid this by creating appropriate folders for appropriate work projects.

Every e-mail in relation to a specific area should be dragged and filed into the appropriate box each time actioned.

  1. Clear your In Box

As and when you deal with e-mails either:

  • Delete
  • File
  • Forward

You can chose to use your In Box for those e-mails you need to action or you may create an “Action” folder.

In this case your In Box will only be utilised for new e-mails, so should in theory be empty at the end of each day.

  1. Have a Clear Out

If faced with a clogged up in-box, allocate a morning or however long is needed to clear it out!

Action, Delete, File or Forward as necessary.

It makes you feel sooooo good afterwards!

Good luck!



Click here for a copy of my free e-book: The Happiness Revolution: Instant Happiness Volume. In the book I outline 13 ways to instantly improve your mood, now!

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