How do we lose all this time? The top three source of email overload and time wasted are:


Dealing with unnecessary email – eg who has my blue mug, ‘thanks’, ‘cc’d emails’ and the ‘All User’. How much of the email you receive do you really need to do your job?


Constantly dipping in and out of the inbox rather than focusing on the task in hand.  Do you peek at each new email as it arrives?


Lack of adequate skills to use the email software?  Have you ever been trained to use the tool on which we most rely for business?

Use our free Cost of Email Misuse Calculator to check how much time you are losing each day.

Email overload is a major cause of stress.  Looking at a sea of emails read and unread can be quite daunting.  Some stay late to clear (or at least try to clear) their email. Others take their inbox home with them.  Both distort the work-life balance.  Sitting at a computer for long periods of time often causes muscular skeletal problems which if serious can mean time off work.

However following a few simple principles of email management can help you quickly and easily reclaim this lost time and significantly improve personal and business performance.  Here are my top five tips to do just that.


Switch off all new mail notifications and focus on the task in-hand for at least half an hour before peeking at new emails.


Prioritise which emails you really need and use filters (rules) to help you manage the flow of emails.


Learn to say ‘no’ to the emails you do not need.


Handle each email once and adopt the 4Ds principle to process each email, deal, delete, delegate or defer action.


Reduce the rounds of email ping-pong (chains) by using an alternative such as talking more rather than relying on email all the time.

What would you do with that thirty minutes a day?  Tell us. There is a free copy of  ‘Brilliant Email’ for the best response?  Responses to ……

Author profile: Monica Seeley

Dr Monica Seeley, founder of Mesmo Consultancy, is a leading international expert on how to reduce email overload and use email etiquette to improve personal and business performance.

Monica is a Senior Visiting Fellow at Sir John Cass Business School, City University and Bournemouth University Business School.  She is Chairman of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce’s Council.

Monica is a respected commentator on the effective strategic use of electronic communications and often appears on the BBC and in the Financial Times.  She has written several books, the latest being ‘Brilliant Email’.  As the ‘Emaildoctor’ on Twitter - Monica posts daily tips on smart email management.


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