How to Stop Email Overload

By Justin Lathrop

Get Rid of Email Overload Once and for All

It’s Monday morning and you already have 75 unread emails in your inbox. It’s not the best way to start the week, but it’s pretty normal for many professionals. We’ve all been there, and we all know the overwhelming feeling that little red circle brings when it appears on our screen.

While I’m still trying to find the best system for handling my own email overflow, here are a few tips I’ve followed to avoid allowing email to take over my day:

1. Prioritize

Michael Hyatt has some great advice on organizing and prioritizing your email in this post. In reality, not all emails are created equal. Some need to be read and responded to right away. Others should be archived or deleted in bulk. Keep that in mind whenever you receive an email. If it needs to be addressed immediately, respond. If not, set it aside in a folder or use your best friend, the delete button.

2. Set a time limit

If you’re not careful, you can start answering emails at 8 a.m. and the next time you look up, it’s going on 10. The best way to ensure you’re not sitting at your computer sending or responding to emails all day is to set aside specific blocks of time for sorting email. Take some time in the morning and afternoon to read, respond, and clean out your inbox.

3. Disable email notifications

That little icon on your phone that announces a new email message may seem convenient, but it makes it more difficult for you to focus on other tasks, pressuring you to responded immediately. Few messages are truly that urgent, and in most cases, if someone needs an immediate response, they’ll know how to reach you by phone or other methods. Instead of constantly checking your email, wait until you’ve finished a task you will get more done and feel less enslaved by your inbox. (And here’s how to disable your email notifications.)

If we’re not careful, email overload can keep us from doing the things that God has actually called us to do. Stewardship isn’t just a principle we apply to our money; it’s one we apply to our time, resources…and inboxes.

What are some other helpful tips for overcoming email overload?

Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.