It's come to my attention (today, as a matter of fact), that email is keeping me depressed. I cannot keep up with it. Even when I get it all caught up, within a matter of minutes it's back to its incessant hounding.
I've removed myself from as many lists as I can, and I've set some things up so they go directly in folders. I try to clear my inbox weekly. Still, I can't keep up, and I just realized what a complete drain it is on me. I can never get to the next project I want to work on because I'm always worried about what's in my email that needs attention. Some task I'm supposed to do, an unpaid bill, or a receipt that I'd better capture or it will get lost forever.
Does anyone have tips for dealing with email? How do you keep up with it? How can I change the way it affects me so it's not a constant source of anxiety and depression?
I have also been focusing on stream-lining my email. I took these steps to make my email more manageable and less stressful:
1) Remove yourself from all lists, newsletters and groups - when an email comes from a group, unsubscribe from their mailing list and promptly delete the email. I never read these, so they simply clutter my email. The information you need can always be found on google. This way you stay in control of what information you receive - a lot of email in this category is simply marketing material or cluttered with information you do not need.
2) Make sure that Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Meetup and other social media sites do not send updates, friend suggestions to your inbox, etc. Simply change your preferences on those sites. Again I never read these. I want to control when and how much I interact with my social media by going to those sites directly.
3) From now on assess every email that comes in and decide if it is essential (for me this includes receipts for recent purchases, bills, emails from friends) or if it is Junk email (unsubscribe from this promptly).
4) In Gmail you can create labels/folders for email from certain senders - this way you can organize your bills and other recurring email and have it all in one place.
For me this has greatly reduced the volume of emails I get and has made me feel much lighter - all those pesky newsletters, etc made me feel like I had some sort of unfinished business and made me worried that I would miss important email in the deluge of Junk email. I still receive email, but now most of it is actually important.
Thank you. Lucy. I've done all of these things, and I still feel like I can't keep up. Maybe I need to have a daily email time rather than weekly. Maybe I'm trying to assess and deal with too many at once. I do handle some of them as they come in, but maybe not enough. I'll have to think about that.