5 Tips to Help You Manage an Overload of Unread Emails

Kristin D.

Initially, professionals would send an email in the workplace to increase productivity and save time. Today, though, it’s more often linked to procrastination than productivity. According to The Radicati Group, businesses send out over 132 billion daily emails. Keeping up with your inbox can quickly become unmanageable, causing lower morale in the workplace.

More email usage is associated with decreased job satisfaction. Additionally, employees and employers express feeling emotionally spent, irritated, and worn out (the same symptoms as burnout). People who often check their email are even more disorganized and have increased heart rates, which keeps them on high alert.

What gives, though? Why should technology that many of us utilize to complete our tasks damage people physically? Professionals began referring to the root cause of email-related stress at work as CODA.

CODA- Context-Switching, Overworking, Distraction, & Anxiety

  • Context Switching

Jumping back and forth between tasks reduces productivity. Twenty percent of your productive time can be lost by checking emails. So, in an 8-hour day, you can lose up to an hour and a half of time better spent on other things.  

  • Overworking

Loss of productivity puts extra pressure to get work done and less time to do it. It is easy to feel overworked when spending too much time checking emails affects the quality of our work and our well-being.

  • Distraction

Checking every single email all day long interrupts your focus on the parts of your job that are most important, and it becomes harder to regain the focus needed to complete those tasks.

  • Anxiety

Let’s face it– you probably check your email more frequently than you believe. You most likely don’t wait for a notification to check your inbox and “check-in” when sidetracked.  

You Can Take Some Steps to Reduce the Stress of an Overwhelming Inbox.

Here are Five Tips to Help You Manage an Overload of Unread Emails

  1. Stop Checking Your Inbox All the Time 

It takes time to get back on track if you are in the process of finishing another task. These minutes add up and having to repeatedly resume an activity becomes frustrating. Consider allocating ten minutes per hour to checking your email. Focus on the most crucial ones before closing your email. Distracting pop-ups can be avoided by disabling alerts.

  1. Use a Folder Structure Based on Actions

Just a few folders should be used to organize emails so the file system doesn’t become complicated and time-consuming. Decide what to do with an email after reading it for the first time. Do the requested task if it is something that can be done instantly and takes a few minutes. When you have responded to the email, consider whether you may need to refer back to it later.

Do you think you might need it for a legal or tax matter? If that’s the case, store it in your archive folder. You can then look for it later in this manner. If not, remove it immediately. This also holds for emails that don’t demand a response. Move everything to your action needed folder that will take more than a few minutes to finish or requires you to check with someone else. 

Give someone else control of your action-needed folder as much as feasible. By managing your action-needed folder, a data entry virtual personal assistant can significantly reduce your workload and anxiety.

  1. Setup Email Forwarding and Aliases

Setting up email forwarding will save a lot of time if you need certain emails to always be sent to an additional email address. A data entry virtual assistant can set this up for you to save you time and keep you organized. Does your business need to set up aliases to represent different departments of the company, such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.? Available email management services provide a virtual assistant to do this for you so that you do not have to spend any more time than necessary sorting through emails.  

  1. Disable Social Media and Outside App Notifications

Eliminate as many distractions as possible by pausing your social media and any notifications from outside apps. However, consider using a social media virtual personal assistant if social media notifications are crucial to your profession.

Try to limit the number of emails you receive. A dedicated virtual assistant is handy in a corporate setting where people frequently send emails to the recipient and CC to keep them updated. These emails typically don’t need to be responded to, so a data entry virtual assistant can move them to a different folder so you can access them later if necessary. When CC messages are color-coded, you can see that the email is not for you. When you start using email management services, a virtual personal assistant can put this feature up for you.

  1. Unsubscribe From All Senders You Do Not Want to Hear From

Unsubscribe from any emails you receive that you do not need or want to see. Those particular emails are probably causing a lot of unnecessary clutter in your inbox. If someone continues to send email messages to you, block the sender and mark it as spam or junk. Although this is an easy concept to clean up your inbox, it can be time-consuming– especially if these subscriptions are already taking over the critical messages you need for work. 

A data entry virtual assistant will spend the time sorting through unwanted subscriptions and eliminate the number of emails you receive daily. This frees up space and makes your priority emails more visible. A dedicated virtual assistant keeps your inbox organized so you won’t miss a deadline, meeting, or report again!

The Virtual Personal Assistants at Okayrelax are Ready to Help

Contact OkayRelax today to see how our email management services will benefit your business needs, saving you time to focus on the higher priority items. Our professional team of virtual assistants and data entry virtual assistants is here to help minimize tedious tasks and take care of your inbox.