6 Top Tips to be the Boss of your Inbox

This January 2017, France introduced a new law where they have a ‘right to disconnect’ from emails after hours. Supporters of this new law say that those that used to check and reply to work emails out of working hours were at risk of stress, burnout, sleep problems and relationship difficulties. 

This new French law speak volumes in that dedicating too much time to your overloaded inbox can affect your wellbeing. We all have a range of daily job responsibilities and it can get overwhelming when we see our inbox reach 50+ unread emails. 

Having an effective email filing system in place will help organise your inbox so you can swiftly store important emails, delete any that aren’t needed and move on to your next responsibility like teaching your class. 

Here are some tips for you to follow to help you take control of your inbox and carry out your job role more effectively:

1) Organise your emails into categories

Categories being: Unnecessary Emails, Non-Urgent Emails, and Urgent Emails. Within these categories you could create 2016 – 2017 folders and then go even further with specific projects you are working on, such as, Key Stage Leader or After School Club Duties (whatever is relevant). For those, urgent emails you can respond to more quickly than those non-urgent or unnecessary emails. For those unnecessary emails you may find the DELETE button is more effective rather than storing them.

2) Give yourself 30 minutes each day

Dedicating a small amount of time on a regular daily basis will help you keep control of your inbox. Try putting aside some time at lunchtime where you can delete anything unnecessary and file away anything non-urgent that relates to work projects. Focus on key emails first – this will ensure you respond within good time. Don’t get carried away - ensure you still take your lunch break! 

3) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Make reasonable goals so when you come to sorting your inbox you stick to your time limit so you do a bit at a time. Don’t have too high expectations as this can leave you feeling disappointed if you don’t get through as many emails as you had planned.

4) Spring Clean every 6 months

After sorting your inbox with an organised filing system, ensure you give it another spring clean every 6 months as I’m sure there may be some emails that are no longer relevant after this time and can be deleted. This may give you pleasure in doing so too. 

5) Stop yourself from accessing emails after working hours

Don’t be tempted to check your work emails after work. Be strict and turn your phone, or any device where you have access to emails, OFF. It is hugely important to switch off in the evening and relax after a long day at work. If you don’t dedicate time to yourself then it may start affecting your job performance. Even if you stop yourself looking through your emails and focus on marking, this is one less activity to think about. Plus, marking may be a good alternative from looking at a computer screen or a device, particularly as it draws closer to bedtime.  

6) Be methodical

I appreciate ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ in terms of how you organise your inbox. Following a methodical approach that suits you will help you use your time more effectively and take control of your inbox so you have some order in place. 

The Kent Teach of the Year Awards is fast approaching and you can read how to submit your nominations here. Who do you aspire to teach like? 



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