How Did Email Become So Stressful?
There are a few different ways email might be affecting your mental health. The pressure to stay connected to work at all hours of the day is the most common email-related stressor.
The expenditure and pressure it takes to stay on top of your inbox often lead to anxiety: “I need to check in with X, or else Y will happen.”
Work-related stress and anxiety are not sustainable. These bring about negative thought patterns, poor sleep quality, and even depression — which is why checking email outside of work is often counterproductive.
Constantly checking email after hours is stressful because it means you can never take your mind off work.
Email can be a source of stress even when you don’t check it after hours. Email clutter can be a significant problem for employees, disrupting their headspace and stealing productivity while they work. Website Planet calls this the email clutter-anxiety loop.
Rude emails have become more common since employees moved out of the office and into the home.
According to one study, the average employee spends 28% of their working day on email.
Constant communications, pressure to reply, cluttered inboxes, and cluttered minds. Work life doesn’t have to be this way.
You can mitigate email-related stress and reclaim your time away from work if you adopt even 1 or 1 of the tips outlined in this article. Good luck!.
How Can You Reduce Stress/Anxiety from Email?
1. Change Habits to Mitigate Stress
Learn to Switch Off
Unplug after work.
Set strict rules for yourself. For example, you finish work at 5pm which means you finish working at 5pm. An email at 5:05 pm doesn’t receive a response till the next working day.
2. Pick Up a Non-Digital Hobby
3. Use a Vacation Auto-Responder
4. Use Technology to Time Block Your Day.
You can set your boundaries in stone with the help of technology. Specifically,
utilizing calendar invites and reminders can segment your time into blocks and
remind you to value everything (not just email).
5. Practice Email Etiquette
Avoid sending emails after regular working hours. If you’re a flexible worker or
simply forgetful, that may not be possible. Stop sending emails to recipients
who don’t need them (avoid the unnecessary “reply all”), and you should make
subject lines super clear as well.
6. Declutter Your Inbox for a Clearer Mind
Place All Emails In a Dedicated Sorting Folder
Delete every email that’s 5-years or older
Search Emails Using Common Phrases You can search for common key terms and phrases in your email folder to gather similar emails for bulk deletion.
Delete Newsletters & Unsubscribe
Sort Through Every Unread Email Run through all of them, deleting or archiving each email according to its importance. You can also “mark as read” for some emails you’d rather deal with in the final decluttering method.
Sort All Read Emails (From the Bottom) Once you’ve sorted through all unwanted and unread emails, finish with the remaining read emails. Most of us read emails and then forget to delete them, which clogs up our inbox.
How to Keep Your Inbox Decluttered
1. Delete Emails as You Go
Delete emails once you’ve replied, or the email thread is no longer useful. It’s that simple.
2. Delete Archived Emails
Go back to all of those emails you sent to your “archive” folder. Respond to everything you can. Delete each email when you’ve responded to it.
3. Add Reminders to Calendar
A lot of people receive reminders and prompts for upcoming events/tasks through email. Or, they leave emails in their inbox as a reminder to do a certain task in the future.
You can add this stuff straight to your online calendar (Google or otherwise) and then delete the email. Add any additional information included on the reminder email to the “notes” section of your online calendar.
4. Check All Email Addresses in a Single Inbox
This won’t apply to everyone, but a lot of people have multiple email addresses. Signing in to each email address to manage, read, and send emails is annoying and time-consuming. The less time spent looking at inboxes, the better.
Direct all incoming mail to your primary email inbox. This way you can manage everything in one place.
5. Create Email Filters
You can filter incoming mail to deal with it early. This is especially useful as it streamlines much of the sorting process, leaving you time to do anything other than check through your inbox.
Filters can label, delete, archive, or even send certain types of emails into specific folders.
You should filter incoming mail that isn’t “urgent.” Send this mail to a custom folder, and make sure it bypasses your inbox. Check this custom folder at the end of the day.
You’re in luck on this point if you’re a Gmail user. You can use something called “Priority Inbox,” which uses machine learning to automatically sort your mail into separate inboxes: one for “priority mail” and one for the less important stuff.
6. Use a Spam Filter
7. Create Folders
You should organize all of your mail into folders. You can use the filter to organize mail based on certain criteria as it comes in (i.e., all work-related emails), or you can simply store emails in named folders as you deal with it on a day-to-day basis.
Your folders could cover any topic you want. Though, “Work,” “Newsletters,” “Receipts,” and “Interests” are 4 good places to start.
8. Use Boomerang
Boomerang is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. It’s super useful if you want to keep your inbox in shape.
The add-on removes selected emails from your inbox and brings them back at a scheduled time. This is convenient for stuff that you won’t need until the time comes, like plane tickets.
It can also return emails to your inbox if you don’t receive a reply after a set amount of time. It. Perfect for keeping your inbox clear and your mind free of stress.
Boomerang can help you practice email etiquette, as well. One of its features allows you to schedule emails to send at set times.
9. Be Careful What You Sign up For
Think twice about ticking the “receive our newsletter” and “update me about offers” boxes, even when you’re in a rush. Ask yourself: “Is this going to provide me with value? And do I need these communications in my inbox?” Don’t sign up if the answer is a resounding “no” to either of those questions.
This great article was shared by our LikeMinder who is currently writing an essay for college about Mental health at the workplace, and found this very helpful. Want to read more? Please find the full original article here.