Spring cleaning isn't reserved for closets and cubicles -- it's also a good idea to make some sense out of that overflowing e-mail inbox.
Alexandra Kirsch, director of MC Interactive, relates a clean inbox to a better work environment -- and better workers. "Doing a little spring e-mail inbox cleaning can be helpful to create a healthier workplace mind-set," she says. "It's never comforting to come to the office with a box full of messages, even if they've already been read."
Ease into this daunting task by starting with the obvious problems. "Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from companies who send a lot of e-mail that you never read," suggests OtherInbox founder Joshua Baer. "Also, go through your Facebook settings to reduce the number of e-mail notifications it sends you."
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Five years ago, Marsha Egan founded "International Clean Out Your Inbox Week" (it takes place in mid-January). She runs consulting company InboxDetox, which offers services for both individuals and companies who want to increase efficiency. "E-mail messages have become the world's most prolific interrupters," she says. "Interruptions are costly. The time it takes to recover from every interruption saps productivity from each of us."
Don't wait until next spring
Some experts suggest you tidy up once a month, while others say it should be done every time you open your e-mail. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it so your inbox will be a cleaner, happier place.