Managing Emails: What to do with your Endless Inbox
Every wake up, open your inbox and wonder why in the world there were so many people awake and emailing you at 1, 2, and even 3 AM? Yeah, I get it, that's me every morning. Not opening my email for a 30 minute timespan gives me serious anxiety about what all could be piling up in my absence. But at the same time, I have my own life too, right? So how do I manage it all? Well, there are a few ways:
Set Aside Dedicated Time:
First off, make sure you set aside dedicate times throughout your day where you can just focus on reading through and responding to emails. Depending on your needs shoot for 2-3 longer periods of time or 3-6 shorter periods of time. During this dedicated time, make sure that you can really dig into those unread emails. When it's not this time, do your best to stay off email, if it's urgent, they'll call.
Use and Abuse the Flag Tool:
Did you get an email you can't quite respond to yet? Do you need to check on something before giving them an answer? Flag it. Even if you're not 100% sure you'll need to go back to that email, but you're pretty sure you'll need it again, flag it! That way, once you move onto the next email you can let it leave the forefront of your mind. Another great use for the flag tool is those Starbucks line email checks. If you know you have 5-10 minutes of downtime but not enough time to respond to emails, just read through a couple and flag the ones you'll need to respond to later.
There is absolutely ZERO reason you should be expected to answer emails all through the night, so don't. Create a boundary that works for you and your schedule and stick to it. Your friends and coworkers will respect you if you respect yourself and your time, and you not answering an email within 10 minutes, won't kill them. As I said above, if it's urgent, they'll call.
Most of all always remember you are doing the best you can and you deserve to have a life too and that life should not revolve around your inbox.