If you think you're the only person slammed with email, you're wrong. Whether it's working with colleagues, setting up meetings, or closing a deal, email is the main means of work-related communication for everyone.

According to a study by a study by McKinsey, the average "interaction worker" spends 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails. For most professionals, that is a huge distraction that gets in the way of getting actual work done.

Many books, articles, and blog posts have been written on sending effective marketing emails. There's a ton of advice on optimizing the subject line, day of week, time of day, font, and pretty much every other imaginable detail.

But little attention has been paid to the importance of being better at receiving and processing email.

Here are some tips to help you process email more efficiently, free up hours of otherwise wasted time, and reduce your stress level.

1. Don't let email control you

The inherent instant gratification of clearing your inbox provides a brief feeling of accomplishment, but it's really not productive. Doing email is just one part of work. Determine how much time you want to spend in your inbox on a given day, and don't exceed it.

When you first open your inbox in the morning, star/flag emails that must be dealt with today, but make sure to focus on your top priorities first before diving into your inbox.

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image of Dmitri Leonov

Dmitri Leonov is VP of growth at email management provider SaneBox, where he leads business-development, sales, and marketing efforts.

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