On Monday mornings, everyone ends up with a congested inbox after not checking emails for the entire weekend. It can be a headache to go through all of the messages that have piled up and to figure out what’s important and what’s not. Fortunately, there are some good strategies for clearing the mess that is a Monday morning inbox.
Remove the Junk
The first step should be to get rid of any junk emails. If there are newsletters, deals from websites, or blog update notifications, these things can be marked as read. This doesn’t mean that these emails are being cast aside for good. These things may be interesting, but they are not the most important thing to spend time on during the first hours of the work week. If they were meant to be read, they will get read at a later time when there is less urgency. Removing all of this junk visually reduces the overwhelming amount of emails to read and respond to.
Check the Most Important Emails
The next thing to do is to answer the most important emails. Important clients, money matters, and urgent commitments are the things that deserve the most attention on Monday mornings. Taking the time to answer important emails right away will take a load of pressure off and make it easier to finish sorting through the rest of the emails in the inbox.
Answer the Quick Emails
Any email that can be answered in a minute or less is the next priority. Even if the emails could wait for a day or two, it’s best to get these easy responses out of the way as quickly as possible. Doing this will take away another big chunk of the inbox clutter.
Answer the Rest (Later)
By this step, most of the emails in the inbox should be dealt with. What’s left over are the emails that are not urgent and not easy to respond to. If there is still time to deal with the emails, they can be dealt with right away. Otherwise, these emails can be responded to later. That’s not to say that they can be left unattended to for days. It’s still a good idea to get these emails taken care of within 1-2 days.
Following these four steps make a big difference in reducing the time and stress that result from a messy, cluttered Monday morning inbox. These same steps can be followed on any day of the week; Monday is simply the time when it’s most necessary to have a good strategy for answering emails. However, a good email maintenance policy can lead to better productivity in the workplace on a daily basis.