Pre-Xmas Inbox Cull – or Post-Xmas Inbox Chaos? You Choose.

Is your inbox already inducing exhaustion?

This time of year is not called “the silly season” for nothing. All those communications can quickly spin out of control as everyone rushes to meet deadlines and clear desks before Christmas. As stress levels rise and survival instincts kick in, it’s no wonder so many of us choose a “flight” over a “fight” response and cave in to the chaos. Those emails can wait till the new year, right?

Well, we’re here to give you the “fight” option instead. We’ve provided our three favourite inbox organisation tips below. Follow our advice and you’ll not only keep your head above water – you’ll be well out of the water and beachside with a cocktail instead.

  • Move “CC” emails out of your inbox.

    If you’ve simply been CC’d on an email, that’s a head start right there: these emails are not a priority. Set up a special folder named “Inbox: CC” and move into this all those emails that have not been sent directly to you. This way, you’ll be confident that only the most important emails remain.

  • Save emails as files.

    This is a great time to get that clutter under control – and we’re not just talking coffee cups and Christmas cards. Be ruthless with email and electronic files: archive or delete as much as possible. By all means spruce up your physical workspace too, but make organising your email your absolute priority. That pristine desk won’t help your stress levels much when you return from holiday to an overflowing inbox.

  • Clue up on Quick Steps.

    We know you shouldn’t have favourites, but of all Outlook’s useful functions, Quick Steps really is the one we love the most. This fantastic little feature allows you to create and save standard actions you perform all the time as part of your role. In other words, it makes short work of all those dull, repetitive tasks. What’s not to love?

    Outlook Quick Steps
  • Just as you’d attempt to clear your physical workspace of any clutter before you go on leave, your number one objective here is an empty inbox on your last day at work. Sure, it won’t stay that way – you might just make it out the office door – but at least when you return to work you’ll only be faced with unread messages and not a soul-destroying stack of read messages awaiting action, too. Over-achievers may even wish to spend some downtime over Christmas performing basic email maintenance along the lines of archiving and deleting. But at the very least, fight that fatigue and start organising your inbox. And make this Christmas less about surviving stress and more about celebrating the lack of it.