5 stress-free inbox tips
Organise your emails once a day
Don’t let email take over your life. Set aside some time for processing your University email account and do it just once a day.
Prioritise using the 80/20 rule
Also called the Pareto Principle, this rule states 80% of output comes from 20% of input. So, focus on the actionable 20%; the high-value emails that lead to maximum output. The 80% left can wait one to three days for a reply – and some might not need a reply at all.
Outlook has a built-in Archive folder and Archive action. Once you’re done with an email, archive it. It’s always there if you need to search for it. But it shifts it out of your inbox. This slims your inbox, so you only see the emails you need to focus on.
You can create as many folders as you like in Outlook, then sort your emails into them. Try organising your folders by day of the week, eg ‘Reply by Wednesday’, or according to your priorities. You can use filters and the Rules function to sort emails into folders automatically as they arrive in your inbox.
Use the one-minute rule
It’s easy to let tiny tasks, like replying to an email, build up. But the growing pile can soon weigh you down, make you feel guilty and unproductive. Get into the habit of replying to an email right away if it will take you less than a minute. It’ll help you stay on top of your inbox and you’ll feel more productive too.