Inboxes Are Stressing Us Out
Did you know the average adult spends approximately five hours per day checking their inboxes? What's more, most people have at least two mail addresses, which makes email management all the more important for everyone.
Unfortunately, seven email management pros fret over unanswered messages they send or the massive amount of emails in their inbox at any given time. This struggle, known as email anxiety, is a very real issue for the vast majority of adults around the world.
What Is Email Anxiety And Why It Happens
As the name implies, email anxiety is a fear of your inbox. Just like any other type of angst, it can present itself in numerous ways. Some people end up checking their inboxes constantly, whereas others avoid checking emails altogether. Some may panic every time you hear that “ping” of an inbox notification while others may stress over unanswered emails they sent earlier in the day — it varies from person to person.
According to Kia-Rai M. Prewitt, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic, mail anxiety happens for several reasons. First and foremost, many people feel like email adds to their daily responsibilities. Since many of us already have a lot on our plates, adding one more thing can sometimes send people over the edge.
Additionally, many people worry over how others view them, especially in the workplace. This can lead to email sending anxiety, or the fear of what they write in a message may be received by others. This can lead to avoidance measures, which may cause additional stress if there’s concern over getting your inbox cleared out.
Regardless of the cause, mail anxiety causes people to adopt behaviors that don’t align with email management best practices, which only adds on the stress.
How To Overcome Email Anxiety
It’s hard for most of us to decide how to manage email overload. However, email anxiety avoidance is a key step in that process. But how do we even begin to overcome email anxiety when it feels so overwhelming?
Well, experts say deciding how to deal with email anxiety involves identifying your angst triggers. For example, if slow replies elevate your stress levels, remind yourself that their lack of response has more to do with them than it does you. You can also make notes of times when slow responses didn’t indicate a problem, then remind yourself of these past instances when you worry over a silent inbox.
If your mail anxiety stems from the responses themselves, it may help to read through anxiety-provoking emails a second time with fresh eyes before you respond. This may mean that you need to create a dedicated folder for emails that you need to step away from, and set aside a time each day when you feel most relaxed to reflect on them.
Similarly, you can dedicate two or three times per day to check your inbox, then turn your attention elsewhere during other periods of time. This concept of “task batching” or “time blocking” is typically used to increase productivity, but it can also help ease your angst from emails too since it trains your brain to expect this task at specific points in the day. Doing this can also help you cope ahead so you’re already prepared to deal with the anxiety you may experience while checking your inboxes.
Finally, if the volume and frequency of new messages in your inbox is what causes the most anxiety, then it may be worth looking into solutions that limit the distractions of email. You can easily do this by turning off mail notifications or using inbox management tools like Clean Email to better organize your mailbox.
Use Productivity Software To Kill Email Anxiety
As people try to figure out how to get organized and manage their inboxes more effectively, the number of tools specifically geared towards organizing emails seem increasingly abundant. In fact, there are numerous tools out there to help increase your productivity, manage multiple email accounts, and unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters. These tools can come in handy for everyone, but they’re especially valuable to anyone who is dealing with email anxiety.
For those who feel overwhelmed by the thought of checking multiple inboxes at once, desktop mail clients can help you check all your inboxes with ease. Or, if you want to make sure your messages end up in your recipient’s inbox at just the right time, mail scheduling apps like MailChimp can really help. Most importantly, though, Clean Email can help you organize your inbox and clear out unwanted emails with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Clean Email Can Help Reduce Email Anxiety
Clean Email is an inbox organization tool that lets you manage all your emails in one tool. This emails manager app can help reduce your email anxiety because it lets you place all of your mail accounts in a single app. You can easily archive, block, delete, unsubscribe, and more.
This app offers many email hacks for better inbox management. For example, Smart Views is a feature that organizes all of your emails into smart bundles that make it easier to read through everything in your inbox. You can sort emails by groups like “social media notifications” or “finances” so you can quickly click through related emails without wasting time.
Similarly, our Unsubscriber tool helps you remove unwanted promotional emails and newsletters from your inbox or move them to a dedicated ‘Read Later’ folder so they don’t clog your inbox. Then the Auto Clean feature helps you automate mailing tasks so you don’t spend time manually moving emails into specific folders or trashing spam messages.
All of these features can help you achieve Inbox Zero, which will absolutely help you stop email anxiety in its tracks.
How To Deal With Email Anxiety - FAQs
How do I stop being anxious about emails?
Although it’s hard to know how to reduce anxiety over incoming emails or limit the distractions of email, you can do several things to help lower your anxiety levels. It may help to reevaluate your email expectations, set boundaries with your inbox, and use productivity software to lower the number of emails you receive per day.
Why does email give me so much anxiety?
Emails cause anxiety for several reasons. For most people, though, this angst stems from the delayed responses between messages and the lack of body language or vocal inflections in written communication.
What is email fatigue?
Email fatigue is the feeling of overwhelm that comes with numerous emails hitting your inbox in close proximity. This often happens when people subscribe to multiple newsletters or messages from businesses.
How do you handle email overload?
Inbox management tools like Clean Email can help you cut down on the amount of newsletters or marketing emails you receive and help you organize your mailbox.