2 Easy Steps to Eliminate Inbox Overwhelm


Resources and links mentioned:

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Check out the video transcript:

Assistants, do you ever feel like your email inbox drives your day and sucks up all of your time? If you answered yes, you're going to want to stay tuned for this episode of The Whole Assistant Show. I'm going to be sharing with you how to manage your inbox, so it doesn't manage you. If you would like more self-care and productivity strategies geared towards assistants, please hit the subscribe button below and the bell to be notified when my weekly episodes go live. This season of The Whole Assistant Show is all about exploring the overlap of self-care and productivity. And in today's episode, I'm going to share with you some really practical nuts and bolts strategies for managing your email inbox. These strategies will be helpful in terms of your time management, but also in terms of self-care. I know that this strategy has saved me numerous hours and it has helped me avoid the email vortex that we all so easily tend to get sucked into.

The first strategy when managing your email inbox is to set time aside on your calendar to respond to email when you arrive to work. So generally, in the mornings, I'll have about a half-hour to an hour time set aside on my calendar to look at and respond to email. This does a couple of things. First of all, it sets my intention for the day. So I don't have to roll over and look at my email first thing in the morning on my phone. And I know I'm not going to be in my email inbox all day. And the second thing it does is it shows I'm really responsive to email. When people notice that I'm responding first thing in the morning to email, it gives them the assurance that I'm on top of things and that I have seen their email and that I'm going to take action. The second strategy to stay out of the email vortex is to close out of your email inbox for two to three hours.

Once you've checked your email in the morning and you've responded and you've taken care of your email inbox, now it's time to let it go and close out of your email for two to three hours. Now I've got scheduled throughout my day, several times to check email, and I only check email during those times. And let me tell you guys, it's done amazing things for my focus. Closing out of your email inbox will allow you to get those needle-moving important tasks completed. Now, if the idea of closing out of your email inbox freaks you out, I want to take a moment to address this. So if people are emailing you, it's likely not an emergency. You don't have to respond right away. Oftentimes, we train our colleagues and coworkers that we will respond right away by living in our email inbox. But once you set the expectation and start responding, taking a little bit of time to respond, that will recalibrate, and your colleagues and coworkers will not expect an immediate response.

Now, one word of caution with this. I would recommend that you reach out to your executive or boss and let him know that you probably won't be responding as quickly to his emails because you're closing out of your email inbox to get work done for him. So just let him know that he can reach you via text. My executive knows this and we have a great working relationship. He emails me for the things that are not urgent, but that he'd like me to attend to. And he texts me for the things that are urgent. And remember, guys, you are worth it. Give yourself the gift of focus. You will thank yourself later.

Now I want to hear from you. What strategies have you implemented that have been both excellent self-care and excellent for productivity? Please leave a comment below. If you're interested in avoiding burnout and developing better self-care strategies, please check out my mini masterclass, Three Steps to Beautifully Banish Burnout. The link is below. To continue this discussion and receive support from your fellow administrative professionals and assistants, please head on over to facebook.com/groups/fullassistant and join our assistants only community. If you enjoyed this episode, please let me know by hitting the like button below. Also, be sure to share this video with your fellow administrative professionals and assistants. And last but not least, if this video has helped you in any way, I want to hear about it. So please leave a comment below sharing how.

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