The fewer email messages that come in, the fewer you have to deal with.
- Set e-mail software filters for messages you want to receive, but don’t need to read right away. They will automatically be archived or moved to a folder you designate. To set up a filter in Outlook, choose “Rules and Alerts” from the Tools menu; in Gmail, click “settings” (at the upper right of your screen), then the “filters” tab.
- Mark unwanted e-mails as spam. Future messages from the sender will go to your junk-mail folder.
- Use an e-mail-filtering program to limit access to your inbox. These programs, such as ChoiceMail, automatically approve e-mails from only the senders you know and trust. Unapproved senders will be blocked.
Manage Messages You Do Receive
- Resist opening e-mails first thing in the morning.
- Don’t allow others to set your agenda. Set a schedule to attend to e-mail -- a half-hour before lunch and a half-hour before you leave for the day.
- Turn off the e-mail notification function. Having attention called to each new message is a distraction that ADD adults don’t need.
- Limit follow-up e-mails. Create a subject line that lets the recipient know exactly what your message is about.
- Respond to any e-mail that requires a brief response as soon as you open it. Don't put it off to re-read later.
- Mark e-mails that require an action. You’ll be able to quickly find the action items later on.
- Empty your inbox every day. Old e-mails that require no immediate action distract you from more important e-mails that require your attention.
This article comes from the Fall 2009 issue of ADDitude.
To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.