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7 Ways to Beat Email Anxiety When You Have ADHD

Updated: Jan 9

Do you have thousands of unread emails sitting in your inbox right now? (No judgement!) If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Email
anxiety is very common among ADHDers.
woman frustrated at her lap top

Why Do We Avoid Our Inboxes?

Our inner voice tends to say things like...

• It is going to take up too much time.

Our time is everything to us. We tell ourselves that there are many other things that we could be and should be taking care of instead.

• Where’s the fun?

Sorting through emails is a drag! Our brains are attracted to exciting and engaging tasks. This is going to be tedious work and we know it.

• It’s going to be too challenging.

We anticipate there will be things that we will need to read, figure out, make decisions about, and act on, which makes us feel fatigued at the very thought of it.

• I fear what I will encounter.

Some of my clients say they feel as if there are monsters that are waiting for them in their emails. It creates a sense of looming dread for them as they anticipate that they will encounter problems that will cause them to be in big trouble.

• It is too overwhelming.

Many individuals with ADHD experience sensory challenges, like sensory overload, which can make scrolling through an inbox filled with bill reminders, work conversations, product promotions, and unwanted spam emails feel incredibly overwhelming.

• Responding stressful.

Many feel a sense of perfectionism about how they will respond and can spend hours rewriting and second-guessing themselves. This takes much more time than they think it should and they beat themselves up over it.

Do you relate to this? If so, these tips can help.

7 Steps to Beat Email Anxiety


1. Set a 15-minute timer.

Limiting the amount of time you check your emails will make it feel less overwhelming. It reduces pressure when we can break tasks down into smaller pieces.

2. Add an element of fun.

Set up a mini challenge for yourself regarding how many emails you can get through in the 15-minute duration, or create an email music playlist to listen to with some of your favorite songs while you tend to them. Use your creativity to transform the experience from a chore into a fun activity.

woman writing in her book

3. Write it on paper.

If you sense monsters looming in your inbox, set a 15-minute timer and jot down all the dreadful things that you envision will be in your emails. Then check your emails to prove that you are wrong.

4. Get help from ChatGPT - AI-generated replies.

If you struggle with perfectionism in your email responses, AI (artificial intelligence) tools like ChatGPT can help take the brain work out of it and save you time and stress. Simply copy and paste the email into the messaging box, and ask the bot to assist you in composing a reply.

5. Time block.

Dedicate a time slot each day to checking emails. Chunk it with something else you do consistently to build a habit.

two women working at their laptops together

6. Buddy up.

Having a trusted person by your side while you check emails can help you feel more calm and uplifted by the support you receive. Sift through together, decide what’s junk, and delete unnecessary stuff.

7. Set up rewards.

Setting up rewards like taking a walk, calling a friend, or getting your favorite coffee is a proven way to increase motivation and make mundane tasks more enjoyable.

Most of all, remember to celebrate all of your victories, no matter how small. Shifting focus to what you HAVE accomplished is key to getting in the right mindset for moving forward. You got this!!

All my best always,

Feel Like You're Always Playing Catch Up?

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