It will soon be summer season, which also means holidays for you and lots of your colleagues. After your vacation, you will hopefully be relaxed and full of energy, that is until you open your inbox for the first time, where plenty of emails are probably waiting for your attention.
In order to avoid an overcrowded inbox, here are some tips you should follow before and after your vacation.
Before your vacation
Preparing an out-of-office message before your vacation is a good way to let your contacts know that you will reply to their email upon your return. It is also possible to refer to one of your colleagues that can solve urgent matters. In that case, it is very important to find an agreement with your team in advance to avoid burdening them with too much work.
Once you are back in the office
To cope with a large number of emails received, try to start by decluttering the non important messages and then go through your inbox with a structured strategy.
First, skim your emails starting from your most recent ones.
Second, categorize the emails based on their priority or other criteria that are relevant to your tasks.
Third, if your colleagues have taken care of some matters while you were away, make sure to have a chat with them and understand the status of their cases.
Once you get an idea of the most urgent matters, you can start replying to the highly important emails and proceed until you tackle the rest of your inbox.
Extra tip: you can also try a clean-slate approach, which consists of implementing an automation that automatically deletes all emails that reach an inbox in a specific time period. This is a more extreme solution, but also very effective to avoid an overcrowded inbox.