It’s official. I’m getting too much email. This year’s CTIA show prep for PhoneNews.com has caused such a deluge of email, that I am not able to function day-to-day communications.
This has brought me to the painful what-to-do-with-the-mail situation. I now have to decide if I’m going to do one of several options:
1) Deal with it. Not a good option since I’m obviously getting hundreds of non-spam messages a day right now.
2) Set up a bunch of rules. Have new email that is unsolicited from a past sender go into one inbox, have email for ongoing communications routed to another. I see this as more of a fallback solution.
3) Add more email accounts. This is one I’m contemplating.
4) Have critical communication re-routed from work email to my personal inbox. Effective, reduces overhead, but can be unprofessional.
Obviously, there aren’t any real perfect solutions. Oh, yeah, I could hire a secretary. Well, my bank account struck that one down for now. Feel free to post in the comments with your email-overload stories and how you handled it.
When I have email overload, I scan for any immediate “must be addressed now” items. Once those are dealt with, I start at the bottom and work up.
I try not to use my inbox as a “to-do” list – that’s what the “Tasks” and “Calendar” are for. A lot of times I drag an email to my calendar, and set aside time in 15 or 30 minute blocks to work on that email. Do that with the emails that are going to be longer projects than 5 minute responses.
Works ok for me … but sometimes I do get overloaded, and just have to work through it.
The web is full of tips. Basically it boils down to “The critical point, as ever, is to focus on action and not on the administration and housekeeping. If the action is just a response, respond. If it requires more than a return email, either do it or get it in your “next actions” and keep moving.”
You may want to read this post: http://blogs.sun.com/constantin/entry/enhancing_email_efficiency