4 Ways to Outwit Your Inbox

Four email tips that can help keep you healthy, happy, and sane.

There are a lot of great tips out there on managing your email from the viewpoint of productivity. But email not only can bog you down work-wise, it can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of stress hormones, the February issue of Psychology Today reports.

They offer four tips that can not only heighten your productivity, but  help keep you healthy, happy, and sane.

1. Start your day with a stress-free routine. In other words, don’t start it by reading your email in bed. Before you even open your email, meditate, take a walk, pet your cat, and make a list of your priorities for the day. Then look in your inbox.

2. Separate your personal inbox from your work inbox. And consider additional folders within your inbox to keep you focused. “The most inefficient inbox is the one that pulls you in opposite directions.”

3. Take a break before you respond to a stressful message. Excellent advice. I once worked in an office where there was a five-minute lag between the time we hit “send” and the email was sent. It came in handy. Now I try to remember to walk away from my desk and take a few deep breaths if an email hits me the wrong way.

4. Ease the burden of responding. Create simple templates to use for messages you repeatedly send. And if a message requires a long explanation, pick up the phone.

From the article, “This Is Your Brain on Gmail,” by Emma Seppala. For more tips see: “30 Tested Ways to Conquer Your Inbox Fast!”

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.