Quick—what’s the very first and absolute last thing you do at work?
If you work in an office, I’m going to make an educated guess that the answer’s probably checking your inbox (along with everything that goes into that, including responding to and forwarding messages, deleting spam, and so on).
Cue the eye-rolling; we’re inundated by the statistics describing how much time we spend dealing with it—28% of the workweek, to be exact.
And even though email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (really, can you imagine life without it?), there are ways to make it less annoying. As with any repetitive task, there’s an opportunity to make it as streamlined as possible, so you can devote more mental energy to valuable projects.
From clearing out a backload of old emails, to writing shorter messages without seeming rude, to actually receiving responses, we’ve got a whole bunch of hacks that are bound to make your life easier.
There’s no rule saying you have to strive for an empty inbox (I certainly don’t have one), but if that’s something you aspire to, here’s how to go about accomplishing just that.
The Muse Co-founder, Alex Cavoulacos, shares the strategy that helps her organize and respond with minimal effort.
If you’re in an environment where you have to respond ASAP, you’ll appreciate these tips for staying on top of your inbox.
The perfect way to cut the fat from your emails (and save some time, too).
Friendly reminders to snap out of autopilot and pay closer attention to your messages—your colleagues will appreciate it.
It’s a pain in the butt to wait for an email that’s holding up your entire project; here’s how to avoid that situation.
Reaching out to a stranger? It’s not as hard to get a response as you think, if you follow this advice.
The small stuff matters when you’re trying to establish a connection.
This tip will help you cut down the length (which really is a deciding factor for many people when deciding whether to respond!).
Better ways to say those annoying, yet common, lines such as “Please Advise…”
You don’t have to be a CEO to implement this handy tip for blocking out email-free time.
And finally, if you use your messages to express your humorous side, this is a quick gut-check to make sure your sense of humor is appropriate for the situation.
TopicsTools & Skills , Email , Links We Love , Productivity , Communication , Email Inbox Organization
Photo of man looking at inbox courtesy Hero Images/Getty Images.
Nina understands the struggle of a major career change. After snagging her first job at fourteen, she continued down the path of employment by pursuing a motley assortment of vocations. Ask her about her time in the Army, or her stint as a Harvard research guinea pig. Say hi @ninadawdles or ninasemczuk.com.More from this Author