In April 1999, I moved from England to live in Seattle in the US. It was really exciting to be living in a brand new country, one that I had only seen in the movies.

Something else exciting happened that year. My friends and family all started to get email addresses. Email was new and novel and such a convenient way to keep in touch. Checking my inbox was really fun. Without email, the only other way to keep in touch would have been letters or long distance phone calls.

Fast forward 20 years and our relationship to inboxes has changed. A lot!

Receiving email is no longer a novelty.

Inboxes now have to be managed and ‘checked.’ And friends don’t email that much anymore. There are so many other neat ways to keep in touch – FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, etc.

Nowadays email feels like a burden and a huge time suck. I heard a stat that on average, we spend 50 hours a year ‘checking’ email. Not replying, just checking to see if any new emails have arrived recently.

If you have ADHD, inboxes can create a whole new set of challenges because managing email requires many skills that are difficult when you have ADHD. Even deciding whether to keep or delete an email can feel like a big deal.

When we think of ‘email,’ we tend think of it as a single issue. However, email challenges can be broken down into four categories. When you know which categories are challenging for you, it’s much easier to find the solutions.

Which of these four email categories cause you the most problems?

1. The number of emails in your inbox

Do you have thousands sitting in your inbox?

2. The volume of new emails coming into your inbox every day

Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of emails coming into your inbox each day?

3. Your relationship to your inbox

Do you check your inbox constantly for a bit of excitement? Or do you dread looking, so you avoid it for days? Do you use email as a memory prompt to remember important things, or as project management tool?

4. Replying to email

Does it take you a long time to write an email? Perhaps because of social anxiety or because writing takes you a long time? Or do you reply too quickly and write something you later regret?

 I would love to know what your email challenges are. Leave me a comment below!

P.S. Don’t worry if you have more than one of the email challenges. Lots of people do!

The ADHD Friendly Guide to Email Wait List

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