VOL. 133 | NO. 52 | Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Managing Your Email in 4 Easy Steps
Email changed the way we do business by making the world smaller and moving at a faster pace. This form of communication was somewhat manageable until smart phones gave us the opportunity to read and send emails at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world.
In fact, a recent Adobe study found people spend an average of 7.4 hours on email every day! So, anyone else feeling overwhelmed?
If you’re tired of wasting so much time on email and want to become more efficient during your workday, here are some simple tips to get you started.
1. Organization has a big impact. Every email program provides you with several organization options, so why not take advantage of them? There are various schools of thought on organizing folders, but typically the easier the organization system is, the more likely you are to stick with it.
I recommend organizing items by deadlines instead of topics. It doesn’t mean you have to make a folder for every exact deadline, but try sorting emails based on when they need a response: by end of day, end of week, end of the month or even the end of the year.
2. Don’t be afraid to delete. How many of the emails in your inbox do you really need to keep – or even respond to? Many messages simply contain quick information of important dates or events. Add those things to your calendar and then delete the email message immediately.
You can also delete newsletters or listserv emails right after reading them. Bookmark an article in your web browser or save it to a Pinterest board if you think you might want to revisit it at a later time. Also, if you don’t find those newsletters relevant, go ahead and hit the unsubscribe button.
3. Set a timer. Some experts say that you should limit your “email time” to only once per day. However, this might be unrealistic for many of us. Instead, you can try and limit your time by checking your email once per hour.
Spend the first five to 10 minutes of each hour reading, responding and sorting emails. Focus on a little at a time and then close your inbox so you can concentrate on your to-do list for the next 50 minutes. This can drastically cut down the amount of time you spend on email without keeping you from getting behind.
4. Be respectful of other’s inboxes. You’ve probably heard the saying, “This meeting could have been an email,” right? Next time, ask yourself if this message could have been delivered via text or phone call. Also, be mindful of the “reply all” feature. If you use with caution, your colleagues will thank you later.
These are just some simple tips to help you discover a more efficient email inbox. Once you get started, you’ll find the best organizational tools to accommodate you and your workflow.
Patrick Tamburrino, the president of I.T. strategy, support and management firm tamburrino inc., can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.