Stop spending hours sorting through your inbox. 

By Grace Elkus
Updated January 06, 2016
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

An overflowing inbox is stressful (and frustrating), but constantly clearing it out can be a major time suck. While getting to Inbox Zero may seem like the ultimate goal, spending less time in your inbox may be more beneficial to your workflow—and your sanity. These five tips will minimize email's many distractions, so you can start making the most of your work day.

Jamie Grill/Getty Images


Start by unsubscribing from any emails you no longer wish to receive, whether they’re promotional emails from retail stores or newsletters you never read. One quick way to do this is with Unroll.Me, which provides you with a list of all of your subscriptions and allows you to unsubscribe instantly.


If you can’t help but check your inbox every time it pings, the Batched Email plug-in for Gmail could save you from constant distraction. It groups together your emails and then sends them to you in waves—but only at the exact times of your choosing.


Getting a response to an email can depend on its timing, which is why it's often smart to wait until a certain day (or hour) to send. Boomerang adds a “Send later” option to your Gmail, so you can craft your message when it's convenient, then schedule it to send at the time and date of your choice. It's also great for night owls who want to keep their evening email habits secret.


Sick of receiving unwanted emails? Drag them into SaneBox's SaneBlackHole folder (which is just one of their many helpful tools), and any future emails from that sender will be automatically sent to the trash. SaneBox, which works with a variety of email clients, can also defer messages that you deem less important to separate folders for later reading.


If your emails come across as clear and confident, you'll save yourself a flurry of follow-up clarification emails. Just Not Sorry, the new Google Chrome plug-in, warns you when you use words that diminish your credibility (such as "sorry," and "just"), thereby helping you send stronger emails.