Year One, part 1

Welcome to the Year One -blog! A series of posts where I, a fresh graduate, break down prejudices a youngster might have when entering the work-life rat race. My name is Martin, and as a young engineer, I try to write about work stuff that’s relevant for all ages, but with a young person’s perspective. Are the prejudices young people have about work true? Or are we just naive? In an attempt to find out, I will return to certain topics after a while and analyze what I have written.

Martin Ekman

First up, Death by Email!  

We’ve all heard or seen someone complain about how their inbox is fuller than centipede’s sock drawer, and how they need to try tidying up their inbox in a constant stream of more or less important emails. Especially after a vacation.  

During my first weeks here at Chemigate, the thought crossed my mind – Am I doomed to the same fate? My inbox is, right now, very easy to manage. Nonetheless, during this month I have felt that the inbox does very easily become cluttered with a lot of FYI-style messages, discussion emails, and whatnot. This leads to important emails blending in with the masses far too easily. 

Let’s assume one can save two minutes a day by having an organized inbox. In the long run, this leads to HUGE time savings, as this saves around 40 minutes per month (assuming 20 work days/month). If you do this for 30 years, it leads to over 230 saved hours! From 2 minutes per day! 

How can one save this precious time then?  My strategy involves having a select few folders for organizing my work emails while being liberal with the delete and archive buttons. The actual inbox is merely a pit-stop before the emails end up in the folder they belong to: 

  • Requires Action 
  • Important Internal 
  • This Month 
  • Personal 
  • To Read Later 

The folders I use for email management

Additional methods for saving valuable time spent on emails include macros, learning valuable hotkeys, and speed reading & typing. I have not, however, started using these methods yet.  

How do you manage your inbox? 

Thanks for reading!  

Want to leave feedback? Send me an email! (Heh.)