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Tips to spend less time in your mailbox

Most of us try to be available 24/7 via email, which can be very stressful. This is how you ensure you are not spending too much of your time and energy in your mailbox.

Mailbox mania

The average person checks their inbox about eleven times every hour and spends 28% of their working week reading, responding to, and managing mails. More than 50% answers their mails within half an hour and 95% within a day [1]. Even in the weekend or on vacation most of us are checking our mailbox. And young professionals? They are the biggest users.

Being available all the time and the expectations that come with it can cause a lot of stress and is anything but conductive to focus and productivity. We know how tempting it is to immediately respond to an incoming email, but for your own mental health and mood: try to take a break from it every now and then.

Tips to not spend so much time in your mailbox:

1. Emailless Fridays

Every year on the last Friday of November, it’s (international) ‘Emailless Friday’. This day exists to spread more awareness about the consequences of frequent email use. Instead of one day per year, you could make Friday (or Tuesday or Thursday, whatever works for you) without emails a weekly thing. One day per week where you don’t open or answer emails. Extra tip: make sure that everyone who sends you a message that day, receives an automatic email about your (un)availability. Not because you owe someone an explanation, but because it’s a nice feeling to know that everyone is aware of the situation.

2. Turn notifications off

Simple, but effective. Trying to fully focus for the next two hours? Take a minute to turn your (email) notifications off. Nothing more distracting than all those pop-ups appearing in the corner of your eye.

3. Work with ‘VIPs’

You can put certain email addresses on a ‘VIP list’. Emails sent from those addresses will appear in a separate inbox. Are there people who you prefer to respond to as quickly as possible? People that often send important emails? This way you can read your mail selectively.

4. Hire a VA

Virtual assistants take over all kinds of tasks, of which email is often one. If your budget allows it, this could be a smart move to make. We bet you can get a lot more work done in the time you are usually answering your emails.

Not only emails have a major impact on your productivity and focus. In this blogpost we share how you can increase your productivity by applying one very effective tip.

[1] Survey: 81% of U.S. Employees Check their Work Mail outside Work Hours

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