Organizational skills are an absolute necessity for anybody working online! The internet is the perfect breeding ground for information overload and unwittingly we allow our email to work against us in this way. The problem stems mostly from our own failure to better manage information that we receive in our in box and simply compounds over time. The result is a flood of email which we do not know what to do with therefore allowing it to clutter up our in-box.
Here are 3 steps you can take to regain control of your in-box and better manage information you receive so that it is actually of use to you and not in the way.
Deal With It
The best approach is to schedule a time or day of the week that you can focus on reviewing your email. By using this strategy it will become easier to manage information you have received because you are not allowing it to accumulate. If something merits your immediate attention deal with it on the spot or set aside the time later to address it. Remember anything you postpone dealing with will be left for you to stumble over again in the future leading to more of your time being spent or wasted.
Many times you will come across messages that may be useful to you in the future for reference or otherwise. When this occurs create a folder for it if one has not already been created by category and file it away for future use or reference. Try not to be a 'pack rat' by filing too much since this can lead to cluttering up your files presenting yet another opportunity to expose yourself to information overload.
There are times you will need to be a bit 'barbaric' in terms with how to deal with some of your email. Look at what you got and ask yourself do I need to file this and if I do will I look at it again? Some information is time sensitive and if you decide to put it off till another time in the future simply delete it and move on. When working online you will no doubt comes across information that can be of use to you, but be realistic and decide on the spot if it is worth saving or do you give it the ax and delete it instead. Remember anything you decide to keep will be that much more you will have to 'climb over' when accessing your folders in the future so do not create a needless log-jam!
Your organizational skills are a key asset when working online since the internet is such a dynamic environment that breeds constant change. Another thing the internet breeds is information overload and a prime source of that filters in through our email in-box. This results in many being reluctant to even open up their mail in fear of what they may find. The problem can be remedied by following the 3 simple suggestions discussed above. These measures target adopting habits to better manage information in a more timely fashion. In doing so you can therefore avoid the effects of information overload and maintain better control over your time and productivity!