Don’t be a slave to your email inbox

Email productivity is one of those areas where many organizations can makes significant efficiency improvements. Stop your email inbox taking over your your life by remembering the Four Ds:

  • Delete – Deal with unnecessary emails as soon as possible, particularly by unsubscribing from or blocking useless spam emails.
  • Defer – Schedule a time in your diary to deal with the email later.
  • Delegate – Pass the email on to another team member to deal with.
  • Deal with it – If you need to save the email, move it to a designated file folder and get it out of your main inbox. If it’s a task that needs to be done, schedule it for completion.

Some other useful tips include:

Don’t keep checking emails

Only check your emails once or twice a day in order to remain as productive as possible. Don’t continually check your emails unless you get an urgent message that needs to be actioned immediately. Try and only check your inbox at certain times of the day unless you are dealing with a matter of some urgency.

Inbox zero

Dealing with your emails in an appropriate way and conducting regular filing can be very helpful, especially if you have large files that need moving. Annual email cleanups are also an option, but it is best to not aim for inbox zero (no emails in your inbox) as that’s what the search function is for.


When a new member joins your team, get them up to speed as soon as possible on email best practices. They will reach the same productivity levels as other team members quicker if they don’t have to constantly battle their email workload.

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