Email-Workload-ADHD-Blog

Here at Sorted Out, we specialize in helping clients with a diverse set of needs, ADHD being one of them. Our organizing experts hold certificates through the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, which means our team has the knowledge in 5+ specific fields of study, allowing us to tackle any of our clients’ many needs. Today we’ll chat about how to get a grip on your email workload when you have ADHD.

Understanding how your ADHD affects your email workload

Nobody knows you better than you. When our clients come to us for help, it’s important that they’re able to self-reflect and share some insights about their habits and routines. Understanding the contributing factors of what is getting in your way will help our team come up with a solution. Once we’ve found the root cause(s) of your email stressors, our team will create a specified process specifically designed to work around and solve your unique challenges. The beauty of hiring a professional? When we step in, you then have the freedom to focus on what’s important. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that you’re not depleting your mental and physical energies. Together we will come up with the perfect solution for you and your needs, ultimately reducing the stress and frustration your ADHD brings into your workplace.

Email-Workload-Understanding-Blog

How does your ADHD make it hard to manage emails?

An ADHD brain craves stimulation, which results in making you want to pay attention to everything. If you notice a new email comes through while you’re in the middle of another task, your brain makes you look at it. Even if you’re aware that your brain does this, it can be hard to stop. As the emails continue to come in throughout the day, you can easily find yourself distracted, and your workflow takes the hit. Your day can quickly become a “rabbit hole” and cease to be productive. It takes a lot of energy and precious time to get back on track and moving forward with your original task. If this sounds like you – we see you, and you are not alone!

Managing your emails effectively

How, exactly, do you get a grip on your email workload when you have ADHD? We’ve got tips for you! Before opening any email, set your intention. Are you going to respond immediately? Read, and mark as unread if it requires a response that you’ll get to later? File into a dedicated project folder? If you have no clue where to start, use the following technique:

  1. First, determine how much time you will need to process through your emails each day. If managing time is a challenge of yours (as it is with many who have ADHD), set a timer (we’re big fans of this one) and give yourself focused, uninterrupted time. Try starting with an hour and determine if that is an effective amount of time, or if you can increase/decrease that amount of time moving forward. If one hour at once is too overwhelming, try splitting your time into two 30-minute time blocks instead (or four 15-minute segments, and so-on and so-forth).
  2. Then, decide when you will process your emails. Some things to consider when making this decision is when you a) have the most consistent block of free time in each day, and b) if emails help define your workflow each day, or not. If they do, you’ll likely want to check them in the morning. If not, perhaps an afternoon slot would do you best.
  3. Heed our warning: don’t check your emails when you’re on-the-go. It won’t give you enough time to process the email and make thoughtful decisions. Instead, choose a few times during the day to dedicate to processing and responding to emails. Try time blocking and keeping the times you are doing this consistent every day. Feel free to adjust if you find yourself needing to rework your time-blocking strategy after a few days or weeks of this method!
  4. Ready to give it a go? Practice staying on top of your current email for one week. Clear out emails as you process and respond, so that your inbox is only full of emails you are currently working on. During this initial trial period (and moving forward), treat any emails older than a week as a separate task/project. Set times over the next few weeks to work on it when you have longer stretches of time and not at the same time you have dedicated to working on current emails.

*Some tools that many email services offer that may be useful to you include scheduling email responses, “mark as read”, and “move to inbox”. These tips may help you stay on top of your email organization.

Remember, not all emails will be interesting, some even mundane, so it is important to remind yourself of why it’s important to get it done. Hey, they don’t call it the “daily grind” for nothing! Our hope is that when you utilize these tips and tricks for getting a grip on your email workflow when you have ADHD, you’ll find that your days become less stressful, more organized, and better managed. If your ADHD (or that of someone you know) is causing you difficulties in the workplace, let us help. Reach out to us anytime at info@sortedout.com for a consultation.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Tonia

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