Fortunately, there are steps that can help you reign things in.
Eric Nakamura is the owner of the "Giant Robot" Asian pop culture franchise. His inbox has 60 thousand unread e-mails. Michelle Boehle doesn't have quite as much, but just mention the word "e-mail," and the sales rep gets stressed.
"It makes me feel like my job goes all day long, all weekend. It makes me feel like it's never ending, and it's not! As soon as you delete one e-mail, you got another one coming in," she said.
E-mail overload is being called our generation's new anxiety disorder. Many psychologists say the stress of constant bombardment is hurting our relationships and our ability to focus. A recent study shows a typical office worker checks e-mail more than 50 times a day.
Nakamura is so obsessed with keeping up with his e-mail, he even checks it in bed. Such constant interruptions hurt work productivity to the tune of $650 billion a year.
Time management consultant David Allen works with overloaded executives. His number one advice? Any e-mail you can deal with in two minutes should be dealt with then and there.
"You'd be surprised. If you close them and open them up again you've just wasted a huge amount of time," he noted.
Another tip: Categorize and prioritize your e-mails in folders. Allen says it's all about deciding quickly: Make it, move it. It could be the only way to "delete" inbox insanity, whether you've got 60 e-mails or 60 thousand.