Overloaded Email? Killer Ways to Tame Your Inbox

“It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure” – Clay Shirky, Author

According to studies, the average worker sends 40 emails per day and receives 121. To put this in perspective, if your company has 1,000 employees, the team will send out 40,000 business emails in just one day!

Your email box can be a time vampire, but there are tricks to taming the monster. Here are four hacks you can use to make email work for you instead of the other way around.

Office worker with their head on their desk and their laptop over their head like a tent. Their interlocked fingers are on top

Block Senders

If you don’t want to hear from junk senders, instead of deleting, block them. While it may be tempting at times to block your boss or obnoxious co-worker, this strategy is for the folks who write to you trying to sell you on their SEO review, magic beans, or money they need to send to you from a country you’ve never heard of.

The deluge of unhelpful email has been exacerbated in recent times because LinkedIn allows anyone who is a first-degree connection to access your email address. Be careful with who you approve. If they’re in the industry or industry-adjacent, say yes. If they’re not and you don’t know them, think twice.

Anyone who emails you out of the blue without a message that’s meaningful to you should be blocked.

Templating via Signature

Do you find yourself writing similar emails all the time? From accepting meetings to responding to requests for information on the due diligence process, you probably write similar email responses multiple times each day. 

To make this process more efficient, draft templates for the emails you write all the time. To take this to the next level, use the “signature” function in your email system. Draft a new signature and title it, “respond to due diligence request.” When you get an email about due diligence requests, begin by adding your “due diligence signature,” which will populate your response with your template. You can then simply edit from your template, making your response time faster, and you more efficient.

Person deleting emails on their phone

30 Days Until Delete

Do you have messages you haven’t read or responded to in months? If so, get rid of them. 

Let’s face it – if you haven’t responded to a message within 30 days, you’re probably not going to. In fact, it may be more embarrassing to write, “Sorry I haven’t responded in two months…” than to just delete the message. 

Whatever the issue or question was, it’s unlikely to remain relevant now. If the issue were important, it would likely be followed-up upon. Do yourself a favor and delete anything you haven’t read or responded to in the last 30 days. 

Unsubscribe and Junk the Junk

Whenever you find yourself added to an email list you don’t want to be on, instead of just deleting, take the time to unsubscribe. If you’ve outgrown a marketing email, or simply don’t find the content useful, unsubscribe or assign the sender to your junk file. 

If you skip this step and delete the email each time, you’ll be stealing time from yourself week after week.

By taming the email beast, you’ll have more time to do the important work. 

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Kristy Grant-Hart

Kristy Grant-Hart is the founder and CEO of Spark Compliance.
She's a renowned expert at transforming compliance departments into in-demand business assets.