No one takes time to think about how they can be more efficient with their inbox. I know I don’t.
While I was writing the blogs this month, I ran across a few tips to be more productive with emails.
- Don’t consistently check your inbox. Matter of fact don’t leave your inbox up in a tab it makes it too tempting to check often, which leads to eating up a lot of your time.
- Don’t use your email on a phone or tablet to clean up your inbox. It’s fine to check on things when your not in the office, but your phone or tablet is not meant to be used for email management.
- Disable notifications – I know I have notifications on my computer for my email too. Notifications go hand in hand with consistently checking your inbox. It’s just another distraction.
- Think about your emails when you are writing them. You want to limit the back, and forth sometimes it is just better to pick up the phone. Limiting the back, and forth also goes with setting up meetings suggest a few times right off the bat.
- Lastly, if you are out of the office, set up an out of office notification. An out of office helps people understand that you are not going to respond and will help the flood of emails that you may get otherwise.
Now let’s get to work!
- This week
- To read
- Follow Up
- Take Action
- To File or To Sort
- Newsletter Replies
- Contact Form Submissions
- Awaiting Reply
- Immediate Action
Don’t wait if you know you’re not going to read an email or have no interest in it – Delete it just get rid of it.
Lastly, have a routine. I know this sounds strange, but if you leave your inbox up all the time and stop working every time an email comes in your cutting down on your productivity.
Block times on your calendar to check your email. (NOTE: Some refer to this as batching) I recommend at the beginning of the day, before lunch, and at the end of the day. When you check your emails, delete emails that are junk and file emails that you won’t need.
Then follow the two-minute rule if it takes you less than two minutes than take care of it then take care of it.
NOTE: This productivity tip will help you lower the number of emails that are on your todo list.
People also talk about O.H.I.O – Only Handle It Once. I usually read an email more than once before responding if it’s going to take me a few minutes or if I have to log in to a website. So for me, O.H.I.O doesn’t work.
Find out what time of day works best for you and block that time for your emails. I used to worry about missing a critical or urgent email. I soon realized that if it is genuinely urgent and the person emailing you doesn’t hear back from you quick enough, they will text or call. Just remember that when you want to check your emails in between your blocked off times
I used to worry about important or urgent emails piling up in between my email blocked times. I soon realized that if I didn’t respond quick enough, the person would text or call me about the issue. Just remember that when you want to check in between your scheduled times.
Certified Online Business Manager | Virtual Operations & Technology Specialist