Type With Purpose: 3 Tips for Email Management
It’s no secret that Monday through Friday you’re swamped. You’re running from meeting to meeting, and jugging a staff that depends on you, a boss that expects the best from you, and a flooded inbox that makes email correspondence feels like a full time job. It’s time to stop wasting energy on your emails, and put your inbox in check, pronto. Here’s how to do it in three steps or less.
Assign Yourself ‘Email Time’ and ‘Email Time Out’
Does it feel like your inbox is calling the shots, running your work day to the ground, and dictating where your attention goes? If your email correspondence takes up a good chunk of your work day—pushing back projects, and causing you to run behind on your deadlines—then it’s time to delegate and altogether exonerate the ‘inbox madness.’ The best, fastest and most efficient way to do that is by giving yourself time devoted to emails and most importantly, email ‘time out.’
Allow yourself ten minutes every hour to scan, click and type to your heart’s content. Set the timer if it’s hard to stay on track, and when that buzzer, buzzes—get back to business. Put your PC on hibernation mode, and place yourself on email ‘time out’ for the rest of the hour. When the hour is up, give yourself another ten minute increment to send out important, pressing emails. You’ll get more done in less time with these easy trick!
Get Folder Happy, and Designate Emails in the Appropriate One
Do you find yourself scanning for a lost email or two (or three, four or ten!) on a daily basis? Do you drive yourself crazy searching through hundreds of emails from colleagues, clients, and your boss? Another key component of email time management is a highly organized filing folder system. Create file folders for every major need you have, and keep it simple. Title one folder for emails that are completed, or done. Create another folder for each client you regularly correspond with. For special projects you collaborate with co-workers on, create a separate folder for each one, and title it to be as simple and specific as possible. Delete all others.
Apply the ‘Read, Flag and File’ Strategy to Accomplish Inbox Zero!
Project zero is the goal—a hectic, unproductive day is always nearby when you have hundreds of unread emails to deal with. Here’s how to get that number down: spend ten minutes a day ‘unsubscribing’ to email blasts/newsletters. This will bring your number of daily junk mail down drastically. Each morning as you work your way through your emails, apply the read, flag and file strategy. Don’t leave any emails unread. Once you read them, flag them according to importance, delete the ones you no longer need and move each one to its appropriate folder.
One of the best (and easiest) ways to stay on top of your deadlines, increase your productivity and improve overall work flow every day of the week is by committing to email management. When you give yourself a designated time to check email, create an organized filing system and stays on top of your unread emails, you’ll reduce the stress and improve workplace efficiency!