The art of keeping a clean inbox

With most people having access to their emails from their smartphones, there’s a newfound tendency among the masses to hit refresh every five minutes; fire off emails at all times of the day and night; and respond to emails within a matter of minutes of receiving them.

First thing’s first – allocate time to learn about your email software and set up filters. Once you set up a filter, every email you receive will automatically get filed away into the different folders you’ve created.

When you receive an email, if it only requires a two-word reply or a 30-second response, answer it then and there. If it’s going to require a more considered response, send a quick email back letting the person know you’ve seen it and when you’ll be responding.

In today’s 24/7 world, it may seem easy to squeeze in emails while watching the kids play sport on Saturday – but make a habit of saying no. There will always be emails to answer and people who claim their messages are urgent or important. Drawing the line means you’re not only creating a better work/life balance, chances are you’ll be more productive when you actually need to get down to business.

On the flipside, if you want to get better responses to the emails you’re writing, check out this story from The Australian for the best times to hit send.