How to get out of email overwhelm for CEOs

How to Get Out of Email Overwhelm for CEOs

THAT’S IT! I’ve done it! I’ve pinpointed the one place in my life that can cause me to quickly spiral to a negative place like no other. The moment I bring this place into my life this is what happens.

I get overwhelmed!

…. then

I get anxious!

…. then 

I get paralyzed!

…. then 

I do nothing!

…. then

I go distract myself with activities that will not help me achieve my goals!

…. then

I beat myself up because nothing is getting accomplished!

…. then 

My self-esteem plummets!

…. then

I sit stuck in the negative cycle!

Wow! That’s a lot for one little thing that takes seconds for me to open the door to. You might be wondering, “What is it?”

Welp! It is my email inbox! I take one look at all the things I need to respond to, all the courses I need to do, all the people waiting on me, and the list goes on and on and on. I get email overwhelm, then VOILA! You know what happens because I just told you!

Here are a few tips:

#1 If you are a high achiever like me and have BIG, audacious goals you have to start thinking like the person that has already achieved all those goals.  Ask yourself, what would the CEO of a Fortune 500 company do with their email overwhelm?

#2 You have to outsource the organization of your emails. Before you start saying, “No, nope, not gonna happen, Amy,” ask yourself, what would you do with the time you spend on email (or spiraling out of control in the overwhelm) if you weren’t in the email box? 

#3 The outsourcing of your email box can be done in stages (for your comfort level ;-)) The first thing you should do is create a brand new email box that is just for you and no more than 10 trusted people.  This includes your best friend, family members, your assistant, and any direct reports.  If you don’t have an assistant, get one ASAP. You’ll need one to get where you’re going.

#4 As you train your assistant to manage your email box you can use the following tools: Loom to video yourself walking through your crazy inbox and verbally tell your EA what to do with each one. Don’t just do it because it seems easier in that moment! Your EA will learn faster if they do it themselves.

#5 That email box you created just for the 10 people or fewer — yes, that one — your EA will now forward to you the most important emails that only you can respond to. Boom! You can truly achieve inbox zero every single day with this method. Ah! The relief. Can you feel it?

#6 Create scripts with your EA for responses that are redundant. They can be personalized in the moment. It just takes a little pre-work and training to get it done exactly like you want.

#7 Tell your EA what would make this transition to them managing your email a success. Then let them achieve it.  You’ll empower them, free yourself up from the drama, and move on to those things that move the needle forward in your business.

I want to know what the next action step you’re going to take with what you’ve learned here. Tell me in the comments! Do you relate to this?

You can also head over to the podcast to listen to my episode on How to Scale Your Business in 5 Easy Steps, where I talk about how to delegate more and why you should only be working on things that move the needle.


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I’m a small-town Oklahoma girl living the big city life in Houston, Texas with even BIGGER dreams. I was an elementary school teacher turned marriage and family therapist with a passion for helping families live their best lives.

About Amy

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Jesus' Daughter, Wife, Mom, CEO, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, High-Performance Business Coach, Podcast Host, & Professional Taco-Eater