Beat Email Overwhelm and Improve Work Life Balance

Member feature Erika Coetzee of The Office Cog

We live in a time of instant gratification and responses.  Shopping can be done 24-hours with the click of a button.  Even banks now have the option of communicating with bankers 24-hours a day.  Business has become extremely pressurized as clients and potential clients expect replies to emails and service to be more prompt than ever before.

The stress of meeting deadlines, offering excellent customer service and replying to emails come at a great cost to hardworking professionals’ health and relationships, when they spend hours in the office and then on the laptop at home, constantly trying to keep their work life balance in perfect harmony.


What are the benefits of managing emails efficiently?  A few thoughts:
  • It frees you up to focus on more important things such as growing your business and spending quality time with your family – the perfect ingredients to bringing wonderful work life balance.
  • It enables you to stay on top of things, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks.
  • With less emails piling up, your inbox isn’t insurmountable and your life less stressful.
  • Efficient and effective communication can help you look more professional to partners, clients, suppliers or whoever else you email.


Here are 5 email management tips to improve your work life balance:

Schedule Email Time

Emails are often distracting and immense time wasters.  Avoid responding to every email as it comes in.  Schedule one or two short time slots in your day to attend to it.

Close Your Email Program Or Turn Off Notifications

When you are not working on emails, either close your email program or turn off all visual and audible notifications.  Seeing new emails arrive in your inbox will divert your attention and consequently be a hindrance to your productivity.


Delete and unsubscribe to newsletters and email lists that do not add value to you or your business.  If you have not read it by now, chances are you never will.

Folders Are Your Friends

Instead of leaving email in your inbox, create email folders for those emails you need to keep.  Once an email has been read, it should be moved to the relevant folder or deleted.  Your inbox should only contain new emails or emails that still need to be actioned.  This will make your inbox more manageable.

Get Help

These tips may allow you to take back control of your inbox and streamline your email management process, but in reality maintaining control takes regular investment of effort and time.

You can reduce the email overwhelm by outsourcing email management to a Virtual Assistant to manage and respond to it for you.  This will allow you to focus on more productive tasks and projects while your emails are being dealt with in a professional manner.

The challenge of an overwhelming email inbox is common and stressful for most professionals, but using these tips will increase your productivity dramatically as you focus on what’s truly important.

For more information about Erika Coetzee and how The Office Cog can assist your business, please do visit our members page.