3 Steps to Master Email and Reduce Stress

    Today we’ll explore how to master your focus and reduce your stress by mastering your email. It’s likely that the way you relate to your email is similar to the way that you use your mind—and this may be causing you unnecessary tension. You can use the following strategies to improve your ability to focus and pay attention to what is most important to you while letting go of what the rest.

    Step One: Create Well-Named Folders

    This may seem too simple, but it’s essential. The folders you create and how you use them makes all the difference. Create email folders with very specific appropriate names and enough of them to make you efficient when searching for information later.

    For example, I have a folder for each significant family member and friend, for finances, for different tasks in my business, for vacation info, for entertainment tickets, for each group I belong to, for login info, for software and warranty info, and for different subjects that I am interested in. Name folders with words that you would naturally search for when you are looking for that item.

    Step Two: Manage your INBOX at least twice per day

    At the beginning of the work day, I check my email and start the process. I have four categories that I use to filter my INBOX:

    1. Attend to today: these I “Mark As UNREAD” so they’re highlighted until I do them.

    2. Attend to this week: these I keep in my INBOX but not highlighted

    3. File for future reference: these I move to the appropriate folder

    4. Discard: these go to TRASH

    By the end of the day, I make sure my INBOX is clear except for the top two categories. If I haven’t attended to any of those in category 1, they stay highlighted for tomorrow, or I have decided that they really aren’t the priority I thought they were and I move them to another category.

    Step Three: unsubscribe from mailing lists that aren’t giving me something I want/need

    As someone who has an online business, I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists to keep tabs on areas of interest and what others are doing online. However, I’ve also learned to prune the number of lists when they aren’t giving me something that is valuable to me. You can unsubscribe from any list through a link at the bottom of any email you receive from that list.

    Whether you knew these steps or not, what makes them work is to do them every day. If you do that, you’ll reduce your email clutter, reduce your stress, and be able to engage with others online in a productive way. If your INBOX is overwhelming at the moment, take some extra time to implement these steps today. Keeping up with them everyday will then be much easier.

    When you master your email, you’ve taken a big step to mastering your mental focus so you can pay attention to what is most important to you.

    Happy practicing,

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. Another great way to master your attention is meditation. Check out “Secrets of Meditation” to learn more.

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