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October 17, 2009

Email Management

You have probably figured out by now that email is the biggest form of business communication.  In a recent study, it was found that an average office worker receives approximately 126 email messages a day.  Think about it.  If you spend, on average just 1 minute per email, with 126 messages, you would have spent about 2 hours a day just on email.  As we continually rely on email to communicate, that number has only one way to go – and that’s up!

One simple rule for managing your inbox – Empty it every day.

When you check your mailbox at home, do you just pull out the mail you want and leave the rest in your mailbox?  I don’t think so – or hope not.  Hopefully, you take all your days mail out, take it inside and go through it while standing over the recycle bin.  You keep what you want, put it where it belongs and discard what you don’t.  So why do you leave electronic mail sitting in your electronic inbox?

Follow these simple steps to help clean out your inbox:

  1. Sort by from
  2. Delete all spam email
  3. Read and delete all personal email
  4. Sort remaining by date – oldest on top
  5. Read, delete, delegate, take immediate action, or put in a subfolder for reference
  6. What’s left should be the items that you need to take action on
  7. Decide when you are going to take action and tackle one task at a time until your inbox is empty.

Expect this process to be intimidating at first.  Depending on the amount of email sitting in your inbox, you might not want to do your cleanup all at once.  Designate certain times during the week to focus on this process.

Once you form this habit and your inbox is empty, you’ll never want to build it up again!

Have a productive week!

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