Whether you are in an office everyday, a stay at home mom or dad, or a student, you are inundated with e-mail on a daily basis.
Some executives get over 300 e-mails a day. I believe for the average individual, about 75-100 e-mails come across our lives daily. How can you manage all of them? You could be stuck at your computer all day and just look at e-mail. This is incredibly unproductive and not very organized. Not to mention the strain on your eyes, back, neck and hands.
The first step in organizing your e-mail is to designate a time to look it over daily. It may not be the same time every day, but if you schedule it daily, you will feel more organized and get other items accomplished. Maybe it will take an hour everyday. Schedule it to coincide with your daily schedule. Some days you will have to wait until evening to read them. Do not feel the need to look over or respond to every e-mail immediately. Do you get an immediate response every time you send an e-mail out. Probably not. If it is incredibly urgent, the person sending the e-mail will more than likely call you.
The 2nd step is to really eliminated the "junk" e-mail. Just like the catalogs you receive in the mail, the companies will send you multiple e-mails trying to entice you into buying their products. Decide if you are in the market for anything from that company right now. If not, delete that e-mail. In this economy many families are cutting back on the extras and just purchasing the necessities. If you already have the necessities, delete all the advertising e-mails immediately. This will reduce the number you need to read by quite a substantial amount. Do you get the joke e-mails from certain friends constantly? If you have a very busy day, give yourself permission to delete those without reading them.
The next step is to scan all the e-mails left and pick out the e-mails that will require a response of two minutes or less of your time or that you can forward on to someone else who might be more qualified to deal with it. Do those immediately. Of those remaining, respond to any that are urgent and then continue to read the rest and respond accordingly.
The important thing to remember is that you are not required to read every e-mail. Do not feel pressured to read and look at every e-mail. Your time is valuable and spending hours hooked to e-mails is not a healthy way to spend your day.