Blog Post 1-9-14

Managing the Email Monster

It is exhausting knowing that most of the time the phone rings, most of the time there's an email, most of the time there's a letter, someone wants something of you.” --Stephen Fry

Most of us need no convincing that email has declined from a great new time-saving tool to an exhausting, impossible-to-manage monster in the collective corporate consciousness. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn some simple techniques for managing email more efficiently, such as designating certain times of the day to check email, setting up filing systems, and using rules and filters to organize your incoming mail and weed out junk. A good technique for managing your inbox is to use the “Three R Rule.” As emails come in, read, respond and remove them right away, keeping your inbox free of clutter and eliminating the need to reread emails later in order to decide whether to file or delete them.

Some emails, however, are not so easily dealt with because we don’t initially know what to do with them. Ask yourself three questions with these emails:

1. Is there any action I need to take? If so, take that action and respond appropriately.

2. Is it important information to save? If so, file it appropriately.

3. Is it information someone else needs? If so, forward the email to the appropriate person.

If you’ve answered “no” to all three questions, most likely you can delete the email.

It’s a mistake to leave the email in your inbox, thinking you’ll go back to it. You usually won’t, and it will sit there cluttering your inbox. Take the few extra seconds to process the decision or action you need to take before moving on to the next email. Not only will it make you more efficient in taming the email monster, but your colleagues will appreciate your increased responsiveness.

Wondering what to do with this email? Take action! To learn more about how to manage email, consider enrolling in our online, on-demand email management course at This interactive, highly relevant e-learning training will teach you how to manage, sort, file, track, and organize your email.

For more information about our on-line and instructor-led workshops contact Alli Christie at achristie@ciinternational or at 303-679-6335 EXT 115.