Effective email management
A quick check of your emails first thing in the morning can turn into time consuming, unproductive waste.
Endless emails requiring urgent attention can often seem overwhelming. Then there is spam, a constant stream of unwanted junk adding to an already cluttered inbox.
For many of us, email is an attractive medium for managing communication; some might even call it addictive. However, the potential for distraction is very high. When responding to an email, or string of emails between a group, time gets lost very quickly. Keeping track of emails becomes a priority and other urgent matters are ignored. Here are a few tips help you manage your emails:
Set up spam filters and manage them
Many users set up spam filters when first creating an inbox, but little by little spam starts to creep in. Some may come from a source that was once of use to you, and now you constantly receive unwanted updates. Updating your spam filters will only take a few minutes and can cut down on the amount of unwanted emails you receive.
Create folders for different topics
Creating sub folders in your inbox and filing emails twice a day will ensure all important emails are grouped together. That way when you are working on a task you can easily go into the correct sub folder and all the information will be at your fingertips.
If you are receiving emails that could be dealt with by your staff members, get into the habit of immediately forwarding them to the appropriate person. That way the email does not sit in your inbox for a few days before you get around to dealing with it. Your staff may provide a more timely response to the matter and you can be CC’d in to keep an eye on progress.
Force yourself to reply to emails as soon as you can. Emails that have been marked as read can get forgotten about. Replying immediately could mean you have to make a decision about an issue quickly, but in the long run it will prevent the issue from being forgotten. Sometimes addressing an issue may require more than an email…..So pick up the phone or organise a face-to-face meeting. There is only so much you can say in an email, and often the meaning can get lost in text.
Get help managing emails
If you have a Personal Assistant or administration staff member, asking them to check your inbox a few times a day will give you time to do other tasks. Ensuring your PA clears the spam and brings anything urgent to your attention will help you manage your day.
Do not be afraid to delete emails. In case you do need to revisit an email, set your trash folder to keep emails for seven days.
- Set yourself regular checking times, and stick to it
- If you have got a big task that needs concentration, don’t go near your emails until you’ve got
- solid block of work done on the big job
- Regard checking the mail as a treat and a light break
- Set a limit and then turn the mail program off when time’s up