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Email Overload: How to Save Time and Declutter Your Inbox

On average, how much time do you spend each day checking your email? I think the majority of us would say several hours. When you think about that, several hours equates to a large portion of your work week — leaving you less time to be taking care of other important tasks.

So what makes “checking your email” so painstakingly time consuming? Well, we almost always have our emails connected to our phones and our phones are almost always connected to our hands. We often have a hard time disconnecting from work. And as soon as our phone beeps or vibrates, we are eager to check the next email that comes in … even when we have clocked out and headed home for the day.

Unfortunately, this situation prompts you to check your email, even though you have no plans of responding until you’re back at work. Not only does this habit take time away from your personal life, but it also takes time away from your work when you’re back in the office, because you realize that you need to reread the emails that you read the night before and respond.

One handy tool is Boomerang. It allows you (and your coworkers) to draft emails with later send times. This way, emails only go out during normal work hours, giving you and your team peace of mind that only highly urgent emails are sent and delivered after everyone has headed home from work.

Another way to decrease the clutter in your inbox is to download Unroll.me. Our inboxes are filled with way too many ads from all the stores we shop at and websites we visit. Instead of finding the unsubscribe button, you can have Unroll.me do all the work. It sifts through your inbox and declutters all the junk without wasting any of your time.

Lastly, practice time management when checking your email. Only allow yourself a certain amount of time to read through and respond. Prioritize what messages need to be responded to and what can wait for a later date. We often work better and are more successful with completing tasks when there are time constraints put in place and clear boundaries are drawn.

What tips or tricks do you use to help cut back on spending too much time on your email? Tweet @StartNoise to let us know.

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