Email bankruptcy that is. If you're struggling to keep up with the amount of emails you receive in a day, to say nothing of the mountain of unread emails in your inbox, it may be time to declare email bankruptcy.
Attributed to Laurence Lessig and later developed by Michael Hyatt, it may be time to declare email bankruptcy if you the following describes you:
1. You have more than 500 unread emails in your inbox
2. Your colleagues and clients are complaining about your lack of responsiveness
3. The people above, know that's it's easier to text or call you in order to get a response
4. You feel anxious, overwhelmed, and don't know where to start when thinking about your inbox
Sound familiar? If so then email bankruptcy is definitely for you. The strategy while simple can seem daunting or almost impossible.The answer... Delete your emails. Did you pass out yet? No? Good. Read on.
Step 1: Sort Your Emails
We all have emails that we get on a frequent basis from the same person. Whether it's from an important client or colleague or from an email list we forgot to unsubscribe from determines whether or not it gets deleted. Sorting by sender can be the easiest way to clean out a lot of emails. If it's from someone you don't know or recognize, then it's safe to delete.
Step 2: Categorize
Now it's time to create folders with which to place the processed emails into. This doesn't need to be complicated and should only take a few minutes. Here at AA we love email folders and probably have a few too many but it makes for quick searching down the road. So whether you setup up 2 folders or 20, make sure it's manageable and makes it easy to find what you're looking for, some examples include: Accounting, Clients, and Marketing.
Step 3: Relax
Now it's time to delete. we know what you're thinking...but what if I delete something important? Here's some tough love, if it was buried beneath months perhaps years of emails then it must not have been that important. Trust us, if it's really important the person will send a followup email about it. Now Ctrl + A and click that Trash symbol!
By now you should be breathing a sigh of relief to see a completely empty inbox. Now let's keep it that way. Have a goal to get to "Inbox Zero" everyday. This is more feasible than you think if you employ some simple inbox strategies, like setting up rules for where certain emails should go and doing a mass unsubscription with websites like Unroll.me.
If all this sounds a bit daunting to you, AA has you covered. We offer inbox and calendar management as part of our monthly packages. We employ a variety of tools and create unique strategies to get your inbox under control. Ready to declare bankruptcy? Click the contact button and let's do this!