Don't worry, you're not alone. From junk mail that made it into your "real mail" box to the e-mail from two days ago you "really need to get to," it's all there, in bold, screaming for you to click and read. Can we just highlight the whole thing and hit "delete all" already?
We're all struggling to keep up with e-mail. Case in point: A new report from software company Varonis that finds 10% of employees have 10,000 e-mails or more sitting in their in-boxes right now. According to Technologyguide.com:
Varonis' report, which focused on employees' "digital habits and vices," goes on to say that almost a quarter of those surveyed receive anywhere between 100 to 1,000 emails per day, and that 40% spend at least a half hour per day just dealing with their mail overload. That's enough to add up to 120 total hours in email per employee every year.Verging on one-fifth (17%) of employees are e-mail hoarders, meaning they never, ever delete any e-mail, ever. This approach can be both good and bad. Good in that everything is at your fingertips; bad in that you can never find anything because everything is at your fingertips. Any search is going to pull up at least 200 e-mails, encouraging you to give up before the search really begins. The e-mail you're looking for is in there somewhere between the dozens of online retail coupons, the hundreds of Google news alerts and the random reminders from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Other people are posting status updates, where are yours? We miss you! Just leave me alone, I'm busy avoiding deleting e-mail! Folders only seem to make things worse. And how on Earth can you be subscribed to so many newsfeeds, groups, coupons and lists? Help!
The worst part? More than 40% of employees (43%) are feeling so overwhelmed, anxious and frustrated with the state of their in-boxes that they end up surfing social media or the web for news to avoid dealing with it. Of course, failing to cull e-mail only ramps up the e-mail induced anxiety and makes the problem worse, because the e-mails just keep coming, one after the other, lulling us into a complacent state of e-ntropy. Screw it, I'm going to go make a sandwich. I'll delete it when I win the Powerball lottery. Ding! You've got mail! Just don't hit the "reply all" button and all will be well.