Managing Inbox Clutter

Image result for email inbox image
Is this your inbox?
Image result for email inbox image
Or this?

I had been pondering what to do with my too-full inbox.  Perhaps my subconscious was hard at work finding a solution when brilliant idea came out of nowhere.

The problem:  What to do with the messages needing action like returning an email or following up with a job prospect.  I had been putting colored stars by so many things needing attention that my inbox looked like a rainbow.  I was overwhelmed.  Then the brilliant idea hit.

The solution:

  1. I created a file called ‘TO ATTEND TO’.
  2. Next, I created a new list under Gmail tasks called ‘TO ATTEND TO’.
  3. For each email item needing action I wrote out a to-do action.  (This task box is located at the bottom left of the inbox.  I keep it open as a reminder.)
  4. As I complete each item I cross it off the list.
  5.  The original email is deleted (or moved to ‘MESSAGES TO KEEP’ if still needed.)

As of this moment, there are 4 (yes, four) messages in my inbox, 12 items ‘TO ATTEND TO’, and ‘MESSAGES TO KEEP’, my virtual filing cabinet, is under 100.  (It was A LOT more recently until I did a major declutter plus add many new categories to file my mail.)

Time frame:  Depends on how much mail you have to sort.  Set a goal on what you feel is a comfortable number of mail.  Work in small increments of time.  If you have 5 minutes, delete for 5 minutes.  If you have 15, delete for 15 minutes.  Trying too tackle it all at once is overwhelming and not recommended.  Choose to do this instead of surfing the web or hanging out on social media.  Little by little, the numbers will shrink.  Too bad losing weight isn’t this easy!

Happy decluttering.  I’m cheering you on.

Thanks for reading.

-Karen aka The Klutter Koach

July 3, 2016

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