Once upon a time, emails were a revolution. They single handily diminished the need for time consuming phone calls, short texts and slow snail mail. Now we have so many other methods of communication in the form of social media, emails have a hard time. We hear of people battling with their in-box like it’s a task they need to do before they get on with more productive work. Surely they are a means to get work done? To me, emails mean engagement, business growth, productivity or delivering an efficient service. So here are some tips to help you learn to love email again!
- Set up folders, tabs or labels. This enables you to pop emails you don’t need to react to immediately away from your inbox, out of eyesight. That leaves you with a clear, inviting inbox.
- If it takes less than a minute or so, respond to the email immediately and delete if you no longer need it. If it takes more than two minutes, set up a reminder to act on it at a realistic time through your email system.
- Have a system; for the emails that don’t need an immediate response pop them into folders or mark with colour coded labels. You could do this by project or the day of the week you will work on them. If you just need to keep confirmations emails as proof of purchase or a booking, it can go in another folder so you have for reference until it’s OK to delete. You can do this automatically from some email platforms.
- Make the delete button your friend.
If you don’t need the email, delete as soon as you see it. If your settings are correct, it will be in your ‘delete’ folder if you change your mind. It’s all about keeping your inbox as clear as possible to make you more productive. How about setting yourself a goal of how many emails remain in your inbox when you close down for the day?!
- Ensure your emails are synchronised with your phone so you can maximise time spent in queues, waiting for the bus or on the train. Imagine how many emails you can work on if, on average you are ‘waiting’ even just for an hour a week?
- How many of those newsletters do you really read? If you do, pop them into a folder and read them say once a week with a nice drink and really make that time productive by learning from them. If you find you routinely delete the newsletter or just don’t read it, unsubscribe. It’s helpful to tell the sender the reason why if they ask as, in future, they may send them less frequently and with more relevant content.
How about unsubscribing from one newsletter a day to begin with? Think of how much time you will be saving by this time next week!
- Finally, the most recent tip I have put into practice is to only refresh emails to come through when I’m ready to receive rather than them coming through constantly. No notifications or flashing lights to distract you giving you complete control of your emails!
What are your email management aims? Do share them with us below!
If you need help with managing and loving emails again, book a one2one email management workshop with Rickie here and you’ll soon be back to growing your business! For help with choosing the right email system and other digital tools to make you more efficient talk to Tim from indieLove here