In today’s fast-paced digital world, email has become a key tool for communication. However, it can also be a major time drain, eating away at our time one by one. Countless hours are wasted going back and forth, trying to find a suitable date and time for meetings or sifting through overflowing inboxes. But fear not, there are strategies to help you reclaim your precious time and minimize the stress caused by email overwhelm.

It takes an average of eight emails to schedule a single meeting. With the average number of meetings people attend per week falling between 11 to 15, that’s a lot of time wasted!

Microsoft Outlook offers a simple solution. Including your calendar within an email message to allow recipients to easily view and interact with your schedule. Here’s how to do it.

  1. On the Home tab, select New Email.
  2. Type your message, then put the cursor where you want to insert the calendar info.
  3. Go to Insert > Calendar.
  4. If you don’t see Calendar on the Insert tab, on the right end of that tab, select More commands, then, under Include, select Calendar.
  5. Choose the calendar that you want to send, then select the date range that you want to show.
  6. Select the level of detail you want to show and whether to only show working hours.
  7. Select OK to insert the info in the email message.
  8. Select Send.

Here are some more tips to say goodbye to email overload and hello to a more efficient and focused work environment.

Move emails out of your inbox:

One key principle to save time is to move every email out of your inbox the first time you read it. By doing so, you avoid the risk of re-reading and wasting valuable moments. Instead, create a system where you prioritize and process emails promptly. Respond to urgent messages, delegate tasks, and archive or delete those that are no longer relevant.

Turn off distracting notifications:

Endless email notifications popping up on your screen can lead to email over-checking and be a major distraction and productivity killer. Instead of being constantly interrupted, dedicate specific time slots to check your email. Set aside 5 to 8 minutes per hour to review and respond, allowing focused attention and minimizing interruptions throughout your workday. It may feel uncomfortable at first but once you see the benefits, you won’t look back!

Optimise email organisation:

Filing emails into numerous folders may seem like an efficient way to stay organized, but it can be counterproductive and time-consuming. Instead, streamline your system by using just two folders: one for emails that are purely for reading and don’t require a response, and another for those that require your attention. This simplified approach avoids the hassle of searching through multiple folders and saves time.

Automate and unsubscribe:

Newsletters and promotional emails flooding your inbox can contribute to clutter and overwhelm. Nothing worse than coming back off some relaxing annual leave to be met with 100s of emails, half of which aren’t worth the time it took you to delete. Take control by setting up automated filters for newsletters you find valuable and unsubscribe from those that no longer serve you. Block spam and persistent emails that continue to come even after trying to unsubscribe. By streamlining your email flow, you can focus on important messages and reduce unnecessary distractions.

Need more organisational help? At ATL Solutions, we specialise in working with top Microsoft Office experts to optimize your software usage for maximum productivity. If you are looking for more than just a tip, we offer bespoke training packages tailored to meet your specific needs. Get in touch!

Training in Microsoft Outlook equips you with the skills and knowledge to effectively communicate, collaborate, and stay organised, ensuring that you make the most of this essential tool in your professional life.