Stressed out by the inbox avalanche? Drowning under digital paperwork? What you can do to reduce your email stress.

The Financial Times writer Nilanjana Roy describes it well: “An excess of emails is no longer a workplace joke: it is a lot like sitting on a giant landfill, dropping more and more trash into it as it grows around you.” And growing it is. The Radicati Group says that, in 2015, the number of emails sent out per day was 205 billion; they estimate that by 2019, that will have grown to 246 billion.

It’s easy to see the benefits of using email. Gone are the days of printing and mailing every piece of correspondence. Now we can send off one message to many people, quickly and effortlessly. We save on paper and on time, and because email can be accessed from just about anywhere, we are also liberated from our desks.

But its success means we now face a daily deluge of correspondence. Here are a few tips to help you keep ahead of the email onslaught, from timemanagementninja.com:

1. Don’t fear the delete button
Be quick to delete or archive your message if you sense it’s not important to keep.
2. Open it, then act
If you open an email, act on it. Either answer it, file it, or add to your to-do list. Then get it out of your inbox.
3. Don’t reply to all emails
Resist the temptation to respond to every email, particularly if they are ones you have been copied in to.
4. Unsubscribe
Unsubscribe to mailing lists that are clogging up your inbox, or create a new email address just for them.
5. Set a standard around email
Set an expectation that email is for non-urgent communication, so that people don’t expect you to jump every time they send you something. If something is urgent, make sure your colleagues call you or come to see you in person. 

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