Going away on holiday and you dread returning to thousands of emails in your Inbox?

Are you receiving hundreds of emails on a daily basis?

If you don’t have the luxury of having someone else manage your email for you while you’re away, here are a few of the more extreme ways I’ve heard senior execs and CEOs have been known to deal with their email:

  • Delete ALL emails that arrived when they were on holiday and start with a fresh Inbox on their return. Request any urgent emails be resent after they return.  It’s amazing how people will often solve their own problems if there’s no other option.  State in your Out of Office message that this is what you intend to do.
  • Only respond to the first 10 emails in their Inbox! A bit hit and miss but the same approach as above – anything urgent gets re-sent, delegated or they’ll get a follow-up phone call if action or approval is still required.
  • Move ALL emails received while on holiday into a ‘Backlog’ folder and deal with them separately.
  • Block or switch off email while they’re away.
  • Delete any emails that don’t have a clear purpose in the subject or aren’t directly addressed to the recipient.
  • Delete their Inbox every morning.

Some of these methods may be a little extreme but they do show that email doesn’t have to be the monster it sometimes becomes and sometimes we can place too much importance on it.

Some of these might work for you.  What other extreme or not so extreme methods do you have for dealing with your Inbox.

Of course if you already have a good email practice in place, your incoming emails will already have been sorted, organised and filtered so you’ll have less to deal with when you return.