What Stops People from Managing Email Better? Common Obstacles and Solutions

by Michael Hoffman

Many people struggle with managing their email effectively. Despite the numerous strategies and tools available, email overload remains a common problem in today’s fast-paced work environment. So, what stops people from managing their email better?

One of the main reasons why people struggle with managing their email is because they receive too many emails. According to a survey conducted by Adobe, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. This overwhelming number of emails can make it difficult to prioritize and respond to important messages, leading to a cluttered and unorganized inbox.

Another reason why people struggle with managing their email is because they lack effective email management skills. Many people do not know how to properly organize their inbox, leading to a backlog of unread emails and missed deadlines. Additionally, some people may not have the necessary tools or resources to manage their email effectively, such as email filters or productivity apps. As a result, they may feel overwhelmed and stressed by their inbox, leading to decreased productivity and job satisfaction.

Common Barriers to Effective Email Management

Managing emails effectively can be a challenge for many people. There are several common barriers that can prevent individuals from managing their emails in a more productive and efficient manner. In this section, we will explore some of the most common barriers to effective email management.

Overwhelming Volume of Emails

One of the most significant barriers to effective email management is the overwhelming volume of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, the average worker spends 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails. This can be a significant drain on productivity and can prevent individuals from focusing on other important tasks.

Lack of Time

Another common barrier to effective email management is a lack of time. Many individuals feel that they simply do not have enough time to manage their emails effectively. This can be especially true for individuals who have a high volume of emails or who receive emails that require a significant amount of time to read and respond to.

Difficulty Prioritizing Emails

Prioritizing emails can also be a challenge for many individuals. It can be difficult to determine which emails are the most important and require immediate attention. This can lead to individuals spending too much time on less important emails and not enough time on the most critical emails.

Fear of Missing Important Emails

Some individuals may also struggle with a fear of missing important emails. This can lead to individuals checking their emails frequently throughout the day, even when they are not necessary. This can be a significant distraction and can prevent individuals from focusing on other important tasks.

Inefficient Email Systems

Finally, inefficient email systems can also be a significant barrier to effective email management. Some individuals may be using outdated or inefficient email systems that make it difficult to manage emails effectively. This can include email systems that do not have effective filtering or sorting options, or email systems that do not integrate well with other productivity tools.

Overall, there are several common barriers to effective email management. By understanding these barriers, individuals can take steps to overcome them and manage their emails more efficiently and productively.


LeanMail offers solutions to address the common obstacles and challenges people face in managing their email effectively. Here’s how LeanMail can help:

  1. Managing Email Overload: LeanMail provides a systematic approach to managing email overload by implementing the LeanMail Method. This method focuses on reducing the time spent on email by prioritizing messages, minimizing distractions, and organizing the inbox effectively. It helps individuals regain control over their inbox and focus on the most important and relevant emails.

  2. Efficient Email Organization: LeanMail offers strategies for organizing and categorizing emails to ensure a clutter-free inbox. By implementing labels, and filters based on the LeanMail approach, individuals can easily find and retrieve important emails, reducing the risk of missed deadlines or overlooked messages.

  3. Prioritizing Emails: LeanMail helps individuals develop skills to prioritize emails effectively. It provides techniques for quickly assessing the urgency and importance of emails, enabling users to allocate their time and attention accordingly. By focusing on high-priority messages first, individuals can improve their productivity and responsiveness.

  4. Planning Emails: LeanMail revolutionizes email management by empowering users to proactively plan their emails through the addition of “Next Actions” and deadlines directly within the email interface. This groundbreaking feature allows individuals to filter out emails that are not due for immediate action, enabling them to maintain focus on tasks that can be accomplished without being distracted by emails that require attention in the future.

  5. With LeanMail, users can easily assign Next Actions to emails, providing concise and clear reminders of the exact tasks that need to be executed. This eliminates the need for repetitive re-reading and re-analysis of the same email, saving valuable time and mental energy. By simply glancing at the Next Action associated with each email, users can swiftly comprehend the required task at hand and proceed with efficiency and confidence.

  6. Email Time Management: LeanMail emphasizes the importance of setting aside specific time blocks for email management. By allocating dedicated time for email tasks and avoiding constant email checking, individuals can create a more focused and productive work routine. LeanMail also provides strategies for managing email notifications and reducing interruptions to increase overall efficiency.

  7. Training and Support: LeanMail offers training programs, resources, and ongoing support to help individuals develop effective email management skills. These programs provide guidance on implementing LeanMail strategies, optimizing workflows, and overcoming specific challenges associated with email overload.

Overall, LeanMail addresses the barriers to effective email management by providing a comprehensive approach that focuses on organization, prioritization, time management, and integration with productivity tools. By adopting LeanMail strategies, individuals can optimize their email workflow, reduce stress, and improve productivity in dealing with email communications.

Here is a link to find out more about LeanMail and to register for our Free LeanMail introductory workshop.


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