Dealing with Email Overload: Managing Email

Not counting abandoning email, which certain Cassandras out there continue to advocate, there are two solutions to the current email overload that most of us are experiencing: better tools and better techniques. I have written on better tools before, so I’m going to make brief mention of better techniques this time around.

With an obvious tip of my hat to Michael Hyatt, here are some techniques that have worked for me:

  1. Decide to do email better.
  2. Empty your inbox every day.
  3. Deal with each email message only once.
  4. Only delete, reply to, or delegate messages.
  5. Don’t send emails when telephone calls will do.
  6. Set some ten-minute blocks of time every day when you deal with email. I have found 9am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 4pm work for me.
  7. Dump your current email client for one that allows better search. (I currently use Lookout in Outlook, and I also use NEO. Both are life-savers.)



  1. Dont use AOL’s Instant Messenger feature which can automatically check your inboxes every five minutes and alert you to new email, you will drive yourself mad getting new spam every five minutes.

  2. Ha, good point. Being continually alerted to new email is bad to begin with, and it’s worse when you’re constantly being alerted to spam. That is, more or less, like being alerted to water flowing by in a nearby river — it’s continuous.