Are you in control of your email inbox or are you dismayed by the ever growing list that is accumulating?
If the latter, read on. The following are a bunch of strategies that may help.
- Don’t leave your email inbox showing on screen, all the time.
- Flag obvious spam emails as Junk mail and block the senders. This may help to stop further emails from the same source.
- Use the unsubscribe links on emails that you no longer wish to receive. This will save you constantly deleting unwanted emails from the same source.
- Dedicate specific times of the day to deal with incoming email.
- Unless you are a natural at multi-tasking, and not many of us are, do not invite interruptions from your email program, DO NOT set-up onscreen alerts when a new email comes in. There are enough distractions in life without adding these unnecessary reminders that will break your concentration.
- Consider setting up rules so that your incoming email is directed to specific folders for consideration. This will automate the otherwise tedious process of wading through your Inbox to identify mail that needs to be dealt with quickly. For example, you could direct email from clients to a CLIENT INBOX for priority attention.
- It may be possible to set your email system to only refresh your inboxes at certain times of the day.
- When you do tackle your outstanding emails, if you can read and respond to an email in less than 2 minutes then do it straight away. The time taken to read, store and reply at a later time – when you will have to re-read the copy – will be longer than 2 minutes.
However you decide to organise email, when you have settled on a plan of action see if you can enrol co-workers to use a similar system.
The benefits to speeding up communication by using email are now well known and an invaluable tool. But don’t let the management process dig into these benefits by distracting you from other productive activity.