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A way out of e-mail overload

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recruitment - jobspot

E-mail overload is one of the most hellish but annoyingly addictive factors of office life.

Most hellish of all is Post Holiday Inbox Backlog, PHIB for short. It occurs when, after booting up after a relaxing holiday, you find 278 e-mails requiring instant answers.

Even if you had bothered to set up your nifty 'I-am-out-ofthe-office-sunning-myself-ona-beach-in-the-West-Indies-please-point-your-irritating-question-in-someone-else'sdirection'automatic reply mail, PHIB means you will spend most of Monday morning clicking on your mouse, dragging and dropping, or simply hitting the cross to delete it from your world.

But even then the little blighters refuse to go, clinging on in the deleted items tray.

(This is, of course, a mirror of life, as is so much of Bill Gates' computer world. You see, one puts one's crumby sketches, bills, receipts, must-keep financial information and love notes into one's wastepaper basket, but one must retrieve them before one's cleaner comes along and takes one's crap to one's skip. ) Colour coding is one way out of PHIB. Set your mail up to colour red all your manager's e-mails to match his or her rages so you make sure you see them. Colour your spam mails grey so they almost disappear. Then set up a 'miscellaneous' file on your own personal folder and dump everything else that's left in there. Voila! PHIB-free e-heaven.

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