Does your inbox end up becoming the dumping ground for everything you bring into your office? Mine does. When I walk into my office with my arms full of mail, papers, and industry journals, I usually plunk them all into my inbox, then get down to my “important” business (email, sales, marketing, client communication, etc). However, if I don’t pay attention, my inbox pile will soon get pretty high, the middle of the inbox will begin to bow, and it will feel overwhelming to think about going through it.
So I don’t wait for that overwhelming feeling to happen. I have a certain height that I will allow my inbox to get to, then I schedule time to go through it. For me, if the pile goes past 1.5 inches high, it’s time to go through it. Sometimes this means looking at it a couple of times a week, sometime I can go for weeks without it getting that high. On that note, I try to process my inbox at least once every other week. This way, the work is do-able, and anything important will be attended to.