Cluttered Inbox


Email is our main form of communication these days. There are phone calls, texts, in-person meetings, but our main form is email. What if I told you that you could get your email inbox to zero in no time? You are more likely to have several thousand emails in their inbox than you are to have zero.

Why are you making email so complicated?

If clutter is delayed decisions, then a cluttered inbox is no different. I venture to guess that you waste several hours each week rereading email in your inbox. Why? Because you failed to make a decision about it the first time.

There are only four things you can do with an email.

1. Delete it – It is spam, a coupon offer you won’t use, an email that is no longer relevant or it is an FYI. Once you have skimmed or read it there is no need to keep it. Hit the delete button.

2. File it – If it is important for reference, to document client interactions or a e-receipt that you need for taxes, file it.

3. Forward it – Delegation is one of the most important and underutilized skills in business. If you don’t need to handle it or someone else can, forward the email to the appropriate person. Then, delete it from your inbox. It is no longer your responsibility.

4. Act on it – Reply with an answer or schedule a time on your calendar to handle the task.

Start today practicing this method. For each email you read, ask yourself “What is the action that I should take on this: Delete, File, Forward or Act”. Don’t let your inbox being a parking lot of indecision. Having only four choices for your email will eliminate the “I am too busy to think about this right now, so I will just leave it in my inbox” syndrome. And, you will sleep better at night knowing that you don’t have 1,000 emails waiting for you in the morning.

If you liked today’s post, you’re welcome to use it in your own newsletter or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Tara Rudo, Life Management Expert, helps working moms and families focus on what is important. Get our FREE weekly tips and advice at