If you are like me, then you probably spend a good amount of time each day managing your e-mail. However, I would probably be spending much more time if I did not find efficient ways to manage my email inboxes. I have heard of others complaining about their e-mail inboxes containing over 1,000 unread messages, and well, that just amazes me.

Below are tips to effectively and efficiently manage emails in your life.

1. Do not check your e-mail excessively.

Yes, checking your e-mail and handling them as they come in is nice, but if you are obsessively checking your e-mail and wasting time by re-reading the same e-mails over and over again, then you are not saving any time. Set a designated time (or times) each day to read and reply to e-mails. This will significantly help you have a better work-life balance.

2. Label your e-mails.

With most e-mail inboxes, you should be able to label your individual e-mails. This way you can label certain e-mails as items that you need to immediately respond to, items that can wait, items that are personal, items that are business related, and so on. Labeling your e-mails can save you a lot of time because you can glance over the e-mail instead of having to open it up.

Also, if you read an e-mail and you determine that it can wait until later to respond to because it is not urgent, you may want to label it as “unread” so that you do not forget to reply to it later. This way you can easily skim through e-mails and determine what needs to be responded to immediately and what can wait until later.

3. Have a template.

If you find yourself saying the same thing to multiple people, then you might want to create a standard template. Of course, you should still personalize these e-mails if you can, but if you say the same thing in many e-mails, then having a template can save you a lot of time.

4. File your e-mails once you are done.

A clean e-mail inbox is a wonderful thing. Once you are officially done with an e-mail, completely file it away so that it does not show up in your main e-mail inbox anymore. This way you will not waste time by wondering if you have read the e-mail yet or not. Instead, you will know that the work is done because the e-mail is gone.

Also, having a smaller number of e-mails show up in your inbox can be refreshing and less stressful.

5. Unsubscribe from website e-mails that you do not use.

Everyone receives e-mails that they never open but receive all the time. If you have these type of e-mails popping up in your e-mail inbox daily or weekly, unsubscribe from them. These can be from retail stores, social media websites, and so on. Also, turn off any notification alerts to websites that you do not really need notifications to.

6. Handle e-mails as you read them.

Instead of reading every e-mail in your inbox before responding or handling any of them, you should try to handle each e-mail as it comes in so that you do not have to spend time reading each e-mail more than once. Read and be done with it.

7. Do not send as many e-mails.

If you do not want to receive many e-mails, then do not send as many out. It is that simple. The more e-mails that you send, the more e-mails that you are likely to get back.

Featured photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

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