I don’t mean just the bolded emails that have not been looked at. I’m referring to all of them – opened and unopened. Let me guess… a couple dozen? Hundreds or even thousands, perhaps?
If the mere thought of your email inbox conjures up a sense of dread and overwhelm, you are not alone. The never-ending assault on our inboxes is a very real problem for entrepreneurs and when gone unattended, it can derail your productivity, cause you to make costly mistakes and kill your sense of control and joy.
Over the years, I’ve found that clients with inboxes that are totally out of control typically have chaos in other parts of their businesses as well.
- Missed emails that led to missed opportunities.
- A tarnished reputation from not communicating in a timely fashion.
- Lack luster sales because of poor follow-up.
There’s also the emotional cost of an overstuffed inbox – that sense that no matter how many hours you work, you will never catch up.
Contrast that, to a world in which you have 5 or fewer emails in your inbox at the end of every day. Imagine never missing an important message, having a fool-proof system for following up and enjoying a sense of ease and control throughout your day.
How would that impact your ability to get stuff done? How much time would you save searching, re-reading or wondering how you will ever catch up?
Speaking from my own experience… it feels absolutely amazing!
So, because “how you do one thing is how you do everything,“ today I am going to start you on your path to an empty inbox.
First, a quick check-in…
- Are you keeping any emails in your inbox as a reminder of an action step you need to take?
- Do you have emails in your inbox simply because you don’t want to lose the information or forget a point?
- When you open your email do you have a feeling of dread as the new ones come pouring in?
- Have you ever felt like unsubscribing to everything or moving to a cabin in Montana with no internet?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are in luck! Because Conquering Inbox Overwhelm is one of my favorite ways to help you power-up your productivity in life and business.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’ll share that thankfully organization and time management are two skills I’ve mastered over my 30 years in business. In fact, working at optimum efficiency is what allows me to run two businesses and have a life. With emails coming at me at breakneck speed, I had to find ways to keep my inbox under control so I could stay focused on the steps I knew would get me to my goal.
I started this quest back in 2010 when in hindsight the problem was nothing like it is today. It took me about three months to create the system and form the habits that now support me in keeping my inbox under control. On a daily basis, I average no more than 5 to 8 emails in my inbox and on a good day when I power down, I’m free and clear of emails all together.
So here you go… 7 of my 20 simple strategies for Conquering Inbox Overwhelm.
While it’s not my entire system, they are a great first step to nailing this problem that is killing your productivity and stealing your joy.
- Decide to be the victor not the victim. Commit to establishing an email management system that allows you to control how much time and energy your emails take each day.
- Give yourself 30 minutes a day for the next 7 days to work on one of these steps. Inch-by-inch, everything’s a synch!
- Create more than one email account for campaigns and subscriptions. Only use your personal email account for private and high level business dealings.
- Even if you are a one person show, create two admin accounts 1) info@yourURL.com because people assume this exists and may email you and 2) WeCare@yourURL.com which you will list for general inquiries.
- Unsubscribe over time. I have a folder in my system titled “Opt-out.” When an email comes from a source I no longer want to hear from, I move it to the opt-out folder. Never opt-out right on the spot. Then, opt out of them all at once in your down time. (Tip… sort the opt-out folder alphabetically. That way you can delete all the emails from the same source, once you’ve opted out.)
- Create a “swipe” folder where you save samples of other people’s email campaigns that catch your attention.
- Create an “education” folder where you save emails you want to return to later. It’s tempting to click through to check something out only to find yourself 15 minutes later having gone down a rat hole of opt ins and videos. Instead, schedule time to dive into these emails outside of your peek business-building time.
There you have it… seven steps for taking back control of your inbox. This one step is life-changing and will have a profound impact on how you see and grow your business.
Want all 20 steps and perhaps some support in putting these strategies to work in your business?
We can do that! In fact, conquering inbox overwhelm is just one of the power-productivity moves I share in the Business Breakthrough Experience. It’s a powerful 10-week program designed to alter how you see and grow your business so you can step into the kick-ass business owner you know you need to be.
Click here to take the Rock Your Biz Quiz to discover where you are on track and what missing pieces are keeping you from the bottom line breakthrough you are craving!
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