So I made the mistake of having my work email on my phone. I looked down one Sunday and saw a massive amount of emails. I quickly browsed through to see if there were any emergencies (there weren’t), then I waited to tackle it Monday.
Since I knew what I was walking into Monday, I came up with a strategy – a game plan if you will.
My Email Game Plan For Dealing With Too Many Emails
1. Outstanding Needs.
If you have a pressing task and you’ve been waiting for that one email, then go ahead and get it done. Scan through and look for those first.
If there are that many emails, then usually something is the matter. Take a breath and see what’s the matter. If it’s something that won’t take more than 15 minutes, go ahead and address it. If it’s going to take your whole day, then put it aside for 5 more minutes. You will thank yourself later.
3. Easy tasks.
If it’s just a quick response to a question, or a 1-4 minute email, then go ahead and get them out of the way. My co-worker, AK, talks about the 5-minute rule all the time – if you can do it in 5 minutes, then don’t let it clutter your to-do list or mind, just get it done right away.
4. The Other Stuff.
You get industry news, spam, auto-emails, and such. Some you look through, some you don’t. Do some quick glances, then move on to what you really need to tackle. I just use this time as a quick breather before I tackle the real stuff (like that emergency).
I used this after I was gone on a week long vacation (don’t get me started on all of those emails) and it was a massive help. I hope you can find the same solace I did in a bit of organization and planning.
Have your own system? Tell me in the comments your best game plan for too many emails.