Email. What used to be one of the ‘best new inventions’ of the modern world has now become a monster that can eat up your time, frustrate you immensely and even infect your computer. Yes, it’s still an excellent way to communicate but with all the crap that comes through email these days it almost seems like it would be easier to just send smoke signals.
But there is help. Below you’ll find 7 ways to help you deal with your email and turn it back to the light side of the force. Use these tips and soon you’ll have your email monster tamed and maybe even look forward to looking in your ‘inbox’ again.
1) Don’t be a slave to your inbox. If you check your mail every time you hear that ‘ding’ you’re going to kill your productivity. Unless you’re waiting for something extremely urgent checking once an hour is probably fine.
2) Responding immediately is not always a good idea. Again, unless it’s urgent responding within 2 hours is acceptable. Besides, if you always respond right away people will start to expect that.
3) Ask for and be clear in your email messages. If you know what people need and they know what you need you will spend a lot less time going back and forth with innumerable emails.
4) Know how your email program of choice works. Most of them have excellent time-saving features that never get used because nobody takes the time to read about them. D’oh!
5) Going away? Set phasers to ‘kill email’. If you don’t want to return from vacation with a mountain of email use an auto-responder to let people know you’re away and when you’ll be back and delete their emails automatically.
6) Learn how to use your email program’s search function. Let’s face it, wading through a shipload of emails trying to find one bit of info is for monkeys. Using the search option will save you a lot of valuable time.
7) Know how to use your email’s Spam controls. They’re different for every program but essential if you don’t want to waste half of your day looking at ads for penis enlargement pills.
There you go. 7 great tips for helping you break the email beast. If you even use half of them you will see an immediate difference in your inbox and a reduction in time wasted. Now if you’ll just stop playing Farmville all day on FaceBook you might even get some stuff done.