Email anxiety is real - for many, it is a huge stress trigger.
I'm one of those people. Or at least, I was. My relationship with email has drastically improved because I have established clear boundaries.
Here are nine ways you can reduce email anxiety.
Set specific times to process emails - add these times to your calendar and stick to them. Consider adding those set email processing times to your auto-signature to manage the expectations of those who email you.
Shut it Down
Shut your email application down outside of your set email processing times. Remove the visual cue of incoming emails - it’s just too tempting!
Stop Using CC
Only use the CC (carbon copy) function when it is absolutely necessary; this will reduce the number of emails you receive. Fewer emails = less stress.
Delete Your Email App
Don't have work emails on your personal mobile - this creates a boundary between work time and personal time. You could take this a step further and delete the app you use for personal emails from your mobile too. This works well if you have an alternative device for email processing.
Hide Your App
If you must keep your email app on your mobile device, bury it deep in a folder that lives on a different page of your mobile - create friction to find it and reduce the temptations to ‘quickly check emails’ every 5 minutes!
Remove all email notifications from your mobile and desktop (I'd recommend going further and removing all notifications - use your devices on your terms).
Unsubscribe to any email newsletters you don’t read - a service like Unroll Me can be useful here. If this feels too much work, create a sub-folder in your email application (just underneath your inbox) called UNSUBSCRIBE. Drag newsletters you want to unsubscribe from in there, then once a week, schedule some time to unsubscribe in bulk.
Email Newsletter Management
Use a service like Readwise Reader to bring together the email newsletters you enjoy (outside of your inbox) - read them once a week.
Develop an email management process to achieve a sustainable version of inbox zero - reduce the visual stress a full inbox creates.
It's time to conquer your email inbox once and for all.