How to Simplify Your Inbox When You Suffer From Email Overload

Too Much EmailHave you ever came back to work on Monday only to spend your entire morning answering the huge onslaught of emails that are clogging up your inbox?

Are you tired of having 46 unread messages and after reading through them all realizing that only two are important?

Do your co-workers complain that you never respond to their messages?

If you need to improve your email system, here are some tips that will help:

Keep Your Work and Your Social Life Separate

If you use email for your work, you should have a separate address for your friends and family which you only check when you are at home so that you are not using up your valuable work time reading the funny chain emails that your Aunt Glenda forwards to you.

It will also help ensure that an important work message doesn’t get lost in all of your personal mail.

Unsubscribe From Mailing Lists

If you are in the habit of submitting your email to every website that you are mildly interested in, you likely wake up to an inbox filled with newsletters, updates, and direct mail advertising every morning.

If you want to cut down on this clutter, pick three or four websites that you find the most important to be subscribed to and unsubscribe from all the rest.

To get yourself taken off the mailing list, simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter or email where you will likely find a link.

Create Folders

To keep your inbox organized, you can create folders so that you can sort your messages into different categories. This is easy to do on most email programs, such as Gmail or Hotmail.

Your folders could be divided by certain projects, people, groups, or topics.

Get in the habit of sending an email to the right folder as soon as you read it so that you will know where to find it.

Respond Right Away

The best way to deal with those urgent emails in your inbox is to answer them right there and then.

This way you can avoid letting them build up to the point where they become a huge task to answer.

If the email requires you to do a bit more research, send a response letting the sender know that you received their inquiry and then mark the email as unread until you deal with it.

These are just a few ways that you can simplify your email system and make your inbox more organized!

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Make a To-Do List That Gets Done

Making a to-do list is a great way to see at a glance what you need to get accomplished in a day. To Do List

However, some to-to lists help productivity more than others, and a bad to-do list might do more harm than good.

If you can invest a little bit of time planning out your tasks for the day in a clear and achievable list you will be able to accomplish things much more smoothly.

Here are a few ways that you can make the best to-do list possible:

  • Break it down. Adding a huge task such as “clean the house” to your to-do list can overwhelm you.  Divide this task into several small jobs so that you know where to start, such as “wash the dishes”, “sweep the floors”, and “vacuum the carpets.”
  • Group tasks together that are located in close proximity to each other. For example, if you are driving to the shop to pick up bread and milk and you also have a package to mail you can drop it off at the post office on the way there. It is inefficient just to go out and only accomplish one task at a time.
  • Prioritize the things that you need to do by urgency. This will help you know which items are more important and need to be finished first. You can create a system with colors or numbers to organize your tasks.
  • If you have bumped a task from yesterday that you couldn’t get finished, this job should get a higher priority today or you will continue to put it off.
  • Don’t make your to-do list so long that it is impossible to achieve in one day. This can be very demoralizing. Include small and easily checked-off tasks which will give you positive reinforcement and provide momentum.

Above all, don’t forget to include a reward at the end when you finish everything you set out to do. Whether it is going for a walk with the dog, relaxing for a while to watch your favorite show, or going out with friends, if you achieve all of the goals on your list feel free to celebrate your productive day!

Productivity Tips for Working from Home

If you have your own business and you work from home, it can be challenging to form the right habits that you need to be productive.Working From Home

Working from home provides its own unique challenges, and it is very easy to get distracted by many things around you in the house.

You might start tidying your desk and then decide you should also do the laundry and end up several hours later with a perfectly clean house but no work done.

You can also lose hours of your time surfing the net, responding to emails, and reading clever and funny blogs before you realize how late it has become. When you work from home, you are also susceptible to being distracted by the dog, kids, your partner, and much more.

So how can you improve your productivity and learn to focus on your work when you are working from home? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Create a good working environment which makes it easy to focus. It should be far away from the television and other distractions, and in a quiet area of the house. If you have a room to yourself where you can close the door and tell everyone else not to disturb you, this is even better.
  • Don’t get too comfortable. One mistake you might be making when working from home is working while curled up in a comfortable chair with your pajamas and fuzzy slippers on. While you can wear whatever you like when you work from home, it’s easy to get slow and sleepy in this environment and you will be more efficient when you get dressed, and sit up on a chair at a desk in a well lit environment.
  • Keep a piece of paper next to you, and if you think of something that you should be doing such as putting the dishwasher on you can write it down so that you can push it out of your mind while you focus. When you finish your work, check your list and complete the tasks on it.
  • Give yourself short and frequent breaks. When we work for too many hours on the same thing, our brains can become burnt out. Concentrate on a small task and set yourself a goal of when you will complete it.
  • Reward yourself. When you finish each small goal, allow yourself to get a snack, a cup of coffee, or do something else for five or ten minutes. Set a timer for your break to remind yourself to get back to work.

These are just a few ways that you can fine tune your working habits to become the most productive you can be!