How many emails do you get a day? No, really I want to know, because if it is anywhere as many as I get I understand how overwhelming it may feel at times. I recently read in my textbook for my Human Resources class that people spend approximately ¼ of their workdays responding to emails. We have to face the facts that emails are the way people communicate with each other and how we, in Student Affairs, will get our work done. #InbozZero does not need to feel like overwhelming and unthinkable task nor is it going to work for everyone, but if you are like me, it is refreshing to have a manageable number (10 or less) emails in your inbox at the end of the day.

Respond & Extract. When I get an email I open it up with as much of a smile on my face as I can obtain and I begin to figure out what is being asked of my staff, or what it will require me to do. If it is something I need to talk about to my staff I put it on the agenda or in another email I am sending. If this email requires that I do something I add it to my to-do list. Lastly, I respond, if the email warrants a response. I do all of this so I can skip down to the next step.

Folders & Sort. My folders are a little excessive at times but it helps me stay organized with the amount of emails I get in a day. There are inevitably times where I am unable to immediately do all the things an email requires of me and so I have to keep it in my inbox, or if I feel confident the task is getting done I proceed to sort it, but I can easily find it when needed. I usually am not one to advertise compartmentalizing your life, but when it comes to my email inbox I am a champion of sorts.

These are the two tools that help me achieve #InboxZero on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. It is crucial for me to do this because ultimately it helps hold me accountable to responding to all my emails, which I value in high regard. What do you do to keep your inbox manageable? Please share under the #InboxZero or @byebyeryan

In peace, 

Ryan Bye 


Student Affairs - the First Years

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