How to stay productive with email management
We all use email pretty much daily in our lives, to be productive we need to manage email correctly and have a system in place that will work for us. Many people, when they start work, spend the first 30 minutes of their day clicking through emails, and if you're like me you get at least 30 emails every day to go through.
Emails are taxing, tedious little tasks that quite frankly no one wants to deal with. It can get easier though! Organisation plays a huge part when it comes to email management. Email can be an amazing tool to use though if used correctly. We will run through below how to manage your email efficiently to stay productive and keep on top of time management.
It's not only just about how you manage your emails, as we all know calendar management plays an important role too, so be sure to implement time in the week to sit down and plan out your calendar for the week or month.
Consider email management like a habit, right now you just check and delete your email when necessary throughout the day. What if there was a better way to manage this though...
Pick a Time
Most if not all people check their email in the morning when they start work. Dependant on the job this may be the best thing to do, it gives you an overview of your day and what to expect. It's important to choose a time throughout the day where you focus your time and energy into email management. You may even set out time blocks to schedule when you should manage your email.
If for whatever reason you're overloaded with work, there are quick and easy ways to notify people that you will not be responding due to a heavy workload.
Turn Email Off (Just shut this off and close the application down)
Turn on 'Busy' or 'Do Not Disturb' mode
Set up a OOO like Tim Ferris - The Author of the 4 Hour Work Week.
"Due to a high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00 pm ET [or your time zone] and 4:00 pm ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm, please contact me via phone at 07700-123-456."
Set up email templates
If you find that you're sending out similar emails each day, it would be a good idea to save on time and create an email template which you can use to reply. These are super easy to make and can be edited whenever needed.
Let's, say you're a recruiter, you send out interview confirmation emails to your candidates, instead of typing out brand new interview confirmations why not create an email template which has all the information already! Look back on your previous emails and see if you can use email templates for anything, big or small and, start getting in the habit of using email templates because they're great for time management.
It's important to be productive and think ahead. Most emails can be deleted and if not they normally stay in the inbox section. To save time searching through your inbox every time you want to find an old email, get into the habit of using categories (folders) and subcategories (subfolders).
Keep it simple and use categories correctly. Start by creating a new folder and use a relevant naming system to what you want. Let's say you want to learn a new skill, like time management, or just organise your folders for work you would create a new folder called "Time Management".
Next, you would start to map out subfolders. For example, "Time Management", which would be your first category moving into "Courses" > "Videos" > "Notes" and so on. If needed you may even have a third level which breaks it down even more. Start by looking at your job or the thing you want to learn and break it down into folders and then organise them into a list. From there implement this into your emails so that you can start to add important information into each folder.
Create an "On Hold" Folder
If you work for a large organisation there can be a lot of processes in place which may cause delays. You're either waiting on someone to confirm an email you just sent or you're waiting for their boss to get back to them so they can then get back to you. It can all get a little confusing sometimes. Which is why to be productive and stay on top of your emails, you should create an "On Hold" folder.
This is a great way to stop your emails piling up and your todo list running off the paper. It gives you a place to look each day or week to remind you of what is coming up and what may need some chasing.
Delete what is not needed
Somehow people always seem to find our emails. All of a sudden we are receiving multiple spam or junk emails every day telling us how great a company is or how much we could save if we bought this product today.
It's important to unsubscribe from these types of emails if you're not using them. This will stop you from going through each one and deleting them and free up your inbox for the more important things.
Keeping on top of emails doesn't only just increase your productivity but also your time management. By keeping everything in check, using categories (folders) and setting up automation templates you will soon turn into the superhuman of email.
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Blogish - The Productivity Club