First thing in the morning you answer the doorbell to find a guy with a big artificial grin. He pushes his way into the house where he captures you in a corner and says “Here’s my story and if you tell ten other people something great will happen to you today.” Ridiculous, right?
How would you feel if you had people flooding your living room with demands while at the same time the phone rings off the hook, and the postman just dropped off 50 urgent letters to be answered. Stress? Pressure? “Get the HECK off my back!!”
When your Inbox is full of unopened emails, that’s exactly the energy you’re creating. Every time you open your email program and see Inbox (237) you’re going to feel stress, consciously or unconsciously. That number 237 reminds you that there are 237 demands for your attention that have not be dealt with while you take care of other matters. Why have that hanging over your head? Let’s do something about it now.
First off, let’s examine why these emails are unopened. Are they spam? Then DELETE them and change your spam filter so they stop coming! Are they in the “I might want to read this later” category? That’s like having a mountain of magazines on the floor. DELETE them!
After you’ve cleaned those categories out of there, look at what’s left. What really, truly, honestly needs an answer? Then ANSWER it! If it’s old, then open with an honest apology for taking so long – no excuses, just an apology.
What’s left after that? Things you need to do? If an email is very old, it’s probably too late to address, but only you and the sender know the answer to that. If it’s not old, then either flag each remaining email (if your email provider has a way to mark them) or print out and make notes. Prioritize what you can do quickly, preferably for the oldest outstanding issues. Address these tasks as you would any others on your to-do list.
Now, take another look at your Inbox. Hopefully it now looks like this: INBOX (no numbers after it!). What can you do to prevent the buildup recurring? Improve your spam filters. Tell friends and family to stop sending you junk mail. Get off the mailing lists that no longer matter to you. Address the others as soon as they arrive and your virtual “living room” will stay clear of unwanted invaders!
And if you need help with the process, I know a great resource: Holly@LightseedsOffice.com!