Email overload has plagued people for decades, and for business owners, it can be even more of a problem because your business requires so much communication in order to run properly. Add in email from outside sources unrelated to business, and the total volume can often be overwhelming. Here are tips to deal with email overload.

1. Take some time to unsubscribe

Hopefully you have a spam filter that catches the majority of true spam that you receive. If not, you might want to look for an alternative email provider. Many of us get email that isn't exactly spam, but it's unwanted and unnecessary. We give our email addresses to various websites when we make purchases, sign up for newsletters that we eventually stop reading, and get all sorts of updates that don't need our attention.

Spend some time going through these types of emails and locating the links to unsubscribe, which most will have if they are in accordance with the law. Commercial emails are required to feature a way for the recipient to opt out of further emails. Once you unsubscribe from them, you will be removed from their list. This should make a difference with the amount of junk email coming into your inbox. Taking a little time to do this now will pay off in time savings in the long run.

2.  Think twice before giving out your email address

You can help prevent these types of emails by being more reluctant to give your email address. It's not always required for you to give your email address when making a purchase, even if you are asked for it. If it's online, you'll probably want to give it to the company in order to get a receipt, but with in-store purchases, you can simply decline, and it is unlikely to affect your purchase. You'll still have a paper receipt or a text message receipt. When interacting with websites, look for boxes that ask your permission to send you additional promotions and other communications, and don’t click on them.

3. Use folders and filters

Take advantage of folders and filter features included with your inbox. This will help you get organized.

"You make the rules when organizing your inbox folders," says Natalie Hamingson at Business News Daily. (1) "It might make sense to organize by teams, clients or events. If you’re not sure where to start, it can help to organize your folders by task steps. For instance, you may want a folder for messages that require action, as well as one for emails awaiting a response. You should also have some kind of archive folder for completed threads that you may need to revisit later. If there are emails with documents you regularly need to access, such as receipts for expenses, consider creating a folder for them as well."

4. Create templates

If you're responsible for sending a lot of emails that aren't responses to others, it might make sense to create some templates that you can use repeatedly.

"The truth is, most of us deal with the same or similar tasks and requests every day," says Lawry Jones at FlowWrite. (2) "The emails we receive and the responses we create are largely the same – naturally following the rules of good email etiquette. Creating a series of standard request and response templates that are professionally written and pre-formatted can save significant amounts of time. Filed away somewhere accessible, we can call up these templates when needed, cutting and pasting them when necessary."

5. Look at email only at certain times

Don’t let email interrupt your life throughout the day, every day. Doing so is a major contributor to email overload. Determine certain times of the day to review your email. How much important email you receive on a daily basis will determine how long this actually takes. Turn off your notifications and wait until your designated time to check in. When you do review email, clear out your inbox and/or address each new email, even if it's only setting a response aside for later.

It can be difficult to keep business and personal life separate, and email is one of the top reasons for that. Dealing with your email overload can help you set aside more time for your family, friends, and the things you'd rather be doing when you're not at the office.




The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC