The average worker sends and receives over 105 emails each day. Some of the messages are crucial to their positions, a few are social, and too many are spam. Sorting through your inbox and giving each email the attention it deserves can take a surprising toll on a person’s productivity and mental health; we only have so much energy to spend each day, and spending it bogged down in an endless inbox isn’t good for your company or for you.
Luckily, a simple system we call ASAP can help keep your inbox clean and put you back into control of your workflow.
Act, Sort, or Archive Promptly (ASAP)
If your goal is to keep a clean inbox, it’s important to deal with each email immediately as it comes in. Dealing with an email, though, doesn’t always mean answering it. Consider an Act, Sort, or Archive Promptly system to streamline the way you process emails.
Some emails require direct action or require so little time to answer that direct action makes sense. If an email needs an immediate response or will take less than two minutes to address, act on the email when you see it.
Many emails require additional research, further conversations with colleagues, or simply more time to craft a response. Mail that falls into these categories should be sorted into folders that make sense to you. Consider sorting by client, project type, or simply into “to read” categories. Every inbox is different, and the most important element of a folder system is that it is as simple and as clear to you, the owner, as possible.
Many inboxes are filled because their owners treat them as calendars or virtual kitchen counters. Those filled boxes, even with each email marked as “read,” add clutter to your workload. Most inboxes offer advanced search functions and archive options that let you easily find emails you’ve removed from your inbox. Archive emails as soon as you’ve either responded or decided no response is necessary.
With an ASAP system, you can take control of your inbox again. Remember, though, motivation is fleeting but habit is forever. Like all of our tips, the ASAP system will work best if you incorporate it into your daily routine. For more space, storage, and organization tips, come visit us at Closet and Storage Concepts in Charlotte, North Carolina today!
Sources: Radicati Research Group
Photo: “Julia Spam“ by Darren Foreman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.