Email is unidirectional. Anybody who has your email address can contact you, spam you, and generally annoy you without your permission. This is the issue with email. It has become a distraction in the workplace and can kill productivity if you let it. Here is how to stay ahead!
Rule 1: Unsubscribe. Alright, maybe you really like Victoria's Secret deals, but do you really need to be on their mailing list? Probably not. By unsubscribing from the various newsletters and mailing lists that crowd your inbox, you can save time from not having to open so many pieces of mail. It may seem like it only takes a few seconds, but this time adds up!
Rule 2: Delete with vengeance. If it is truly important, the person who sent you the email will contact you again. Long, rambling emails can be a waste of time and often don't come to a conclusive end. Deleting such emails will save you time and ultimately send the message that you don't deal with time wasting, lengthy emails. People will learn to send you concise, call-to-action emails instead.
Rule 3: Be polite, not formal. The formal, niceties do not need to transfer over to email. Being clear, brief, and polite is the best way to compose an email. It makes it easier for the person on the other end, and takes less time for you.
Rule 4: Empty your inbox each night. By doing so, you will sort mail that is important, and delete the stuff that doesn't matter. Starting each day with an empty inbox creates a sense of freedom, and can allow you to focus on more important things. Give it a shot!