Are emails the bane of your working life? Sometimes they can be. Especially with the instant nature being associated to them. Bing. Email on your phone. Bing. Email on your computer. Bing. Bing. Bing. Email overload.
Why have we let ourselves be managed by emails? If we answer them later will it make much difference? Of course this will dependent on your industry and job role, but for many of us email gets away with ruling our day and for no good reason. More often than not, meaning we are far less productive than we could be.
It's time to take charge and use email in a ultra productive fashion. And here's how:
- Remove email notifications
Check them when you can/need to check them. If you are constantly being drawn out of a task to reply to routine emails, you will lose focus. It will take you much longer to complete the task if you keep dipping in and out.
- Cut down on forwarding and recipient list
Does that person need to be in your long email thread? Perhaps a 2 minute chat could suffice instead? Wall Street Journal reported a case study where email traffic was reduced by 54% by thinking twice before forwarding or copying someone in to that email.
- Manage your emails like any task
Think of your emails like any project. Can you delegate it? How long will it take? Can it be filed away? Set yourself some time each day to check your emails and go through them with those questions in mind. This will help prioritise the urgent ones and help you be more productive.
“Meetings, phone calls, and emails can break up your entire day if you let them, leaving you little time to get any big thinking done…only check email a few times a day.”