“Time is money,” as Benjamin Franklin once wrote. While the well-known adage may not have originated with him, the truth behind the message stands. In fact, the message may be truer today than it was more than 350 years ago, when the Founding Father allegedly first coined the saying.
In an increasingly connected and digital world, maximizing your daily time is essential to success. This is particularly true in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic prompting the expansion of remote work and business models across all industries.
Of course, while the ability to work and stay connected from anywhere has its advantages, it also increases the pressure to make yourself available at all times. Timely communication is key to your personal and professional growth, whether the communication is through calls, texts, or emails.
But what if you’re one of the countless Americans who find themselves saying, “my Gmail is completely unmanageable?” You’re not alone. This problem is relatively widespread, and the risks associated with losing track of your emails are vast.
According to a 2021 survey, nearly 50% of office workers would rather clean the bathroom than read through ten days worth of emails. If you’ve recently found yourself with an unmanageable inbox, you might be likely to agree with that statistic.
The prevalence of this issue doesn’t negate the potential risks and problems associated with it, however. In fact, if you find your inbox has become utterly unruly, you may not realize just how detrimental this problem can become.
Four Inherent Risks of an Unmanaged Inbox
There are numerous potential problems associated with an out-of-control Gmail inbox. Here are four common outcomes.
- Appearing Unprofessional to Clients/Colleagues – If you’re unable to read and respond to emails from clients or colleagues in a timely manner, it can reflect poorly on your professional performance. And a reputation for unprofessionalism will only lead to lost clients and work in the future.
- Missed Professional Opportunities – A disorganized Gmail can make keeping track of every professional opportunity nearly impossible. Any important email can slip through the cracks when you lose track of your inbox, whether it’s a minute opportunity or the chance of a lifetime.
- Likely Missed Deadlines – Since so much professional correspondence takes place through email, you’ll almost certainly lose track of necessary deadlines. Because if you have several hundred unread emails, keeping track of every single important deadline becomes infeasible.
- Overwhelming Stress and Anxiety – An unmanageable Gmail account often amplifies any feelings of stress or anxiety you may feel. This can then increase the chances of procrastination or avoidance of the issue entirely, which can create a vicious cycle that only worsens the problem.
If you find yourself identifying as someone with one or more of these inbox issues, you may be unsure where to start.
If you’re ready to achieve the realistic goal of “Inbox Zen” and learn how to spend purposeful and intentional time with your inbox so that it serves you the way you need it to, sign up for a complimentary webinar to learn more about the ARTT™ Email Productivity course. I will personally introduce a new way of thinking about email, show you step-by-step how to conquer your inbox, and build a routine that causes less stress and allows you to get more done each day. You can look forward to a healthier relationship with your inbox?