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!



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This