Wednesday, June 28, 2017

3 Tips to Manage Your Email for Greater Productivity

Email can be a great communication tool and facilitates quick and easy conversations with your colleague in the office or cubicle next door, or with someone you met at a conference who lives on the other side of the world.

Most of us, however, have experienced email overload and know the overwhelming frustrations with a bloated inbox.

Here, then, are three tips for managing your email in order to be more productive.

Organize your email. Your email provider likely allows you to automatically have certain emails sent to a specific folder you create, as needed. These folders can be organized according to the sender of the email or by a topic, or project you are working on. Having your email automatically filed in a folder can help you better manage and prioritize your response.

Review email at scheduled times. Avoid being ruled by inbox notifications and turn these notifications off and only view your email at a few scheduled times during your day. You might consider first looking at your email later in the morning, after you've "eaten the frog", that is, after you've taken on and completed your most urgent and pressing task of the day.

Schedule time again at the end of the afternoon, perhaps around 3:00 pm, to review email a second time and develop your to-do list for the following day.

Make it a practice to avoid looking at your email when you first awake or just before going to sleep. Email can provoke a sense of urgency and impact the quality of your sleep.

Just say no. It seems everywhere we go--the department store, the doctor, every web site--someone asks for an email address. In order to have more control over our inbox we need to say no to all but the most necessary of these requests. When asked for me email address at a store, I simply decline with a "no, thank you" and the transaction continues without burdening my inbox. Another solution, if you particularly enjoy receiving coupons or entering contests, is to create an email address you use for this specific purpose.

Another way to say no is to avoid using email for conversations that are best suited to a phone call or conducted in person.

These strategies are simple to implement and if you do so, you'll find your inbox lighter and more manageable, and you'll have more time to focus on more important tasks.

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