How to Manage Email OverloadA huge problem for business leaders is the abundance of email we receive. We can spend half our day sifting through our inbox which ends up leaving us tired, frustrated, and unproductive.

When we constantly check to see what is in our inboxes, it drives us to be distracted. It’s difficult not to look when you hear that ping sound or see the mail icon in your dock.

Dmitri Leonov wrote a guest post for Venture Beat and he provided a list of tips to help busy people manage their email.

His number one rule is: Don’t make clearing your inbox your top priority. He says, “When you let other people set your priorities, you’re not in control of your time, and this should be a deal-breaker for entrepreneurs.”

You Won’t Respond to Every Email

Be comfortable with the fact that some emails will never get a response. The more emails you send, the more you will receive. Do, however, respond quickly and clearly to those who need your attention or input.

Set Priorities

If you feel compelled to clean out your inbox, take a step back and ask yourself, is this the best use of my time? If you can’t find anything that will grow your business, then spend time on your email.

Leonov says, “It’s completely ok if on some days ‘clearing the inbox’ is in your top five to-dos. In fact, eventually it needs to be.”

According to Leonov, we spend 28 percent of our time on email but when we think about our priorities, email isn’t one of them.

Set up a prioritization system within your inbox. It could be something as simple as:

  • Important and urgent
  • Important but not urgent
  • Unimportant


  • Delete
  • Respond
  • File

Three More Principles to Remember:

  • When you can’t reply immediately, file the emails for later action
  • Take an occasional break from email
  • Choose a handful of times during the day when you review your inbox. You’ll spend your whole day on email if you do it every five minutes

Email was designed as a tool to help us communicate more efficiently. Ironically, it can do just the opposite.

Email overload is a reality in today’s business world, but there are ways to manage it. Everyone will have a different approach, but if your approach isn’t working for you, try these tips.

How do you cope with email overload?

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng