How much do you hate your email? Many people see a new message and are instantly filled with dread because it means there’s another task that needs to be resolved. If you could manage that email and make it work for you instead of against you, could it become a more useful tool to manage your day?
For many people, that is their reality. Here’s a few ways that you could make it your reality too!
#1. Talk More, Send Less
Email is wonderful for when written communication is necessary. When a simple question or a quick conversation could resolve an issue, however, why is it that email is the first place that people tend to go? Try to get into the habit of picking up your phone and calling the person you’d normally ask a question to through email to see how fast your inbox traffic drops and your productivity rises.
#2. Use Your Email Flags and Options
Instead of letting your email inbox fill up with read messages that you need to search through to find, try using different flags or other options available to you. Even if you just mark an email as “unread” after reading it, you’ll be able to better organize what needs to be done now, what can wait until later, and what can be deleted from your account and your memory immediately.
#3. Find a Routine and Stick With It
When it comes to managing your email, your routine is extremely important. People who tend to check all of their messages in the morning right away tend to be less productive because they try to resolve each incoming email before taking on other responsibilities. As a way to establish your routine, try setting aside 10 minutes per hour to get caught up on your emails, respond to immediate ones, and take care of issues as they come up.
#4. Be Precise
Email isn’t like a conversation that goes back and forth immediately. One wrong interpretation of what you’ve said can cause anger to fester and frustration to mount on the other end of the message for a very long time! Be precise with your words, choose them carefully, and be open for questions so that a clear picture can always be seen. When you give some thought to who will be reading the email and personalize it, you’ll further reduce complications too.
#5. Be Responsive
How long does it take to write a quick response to tell someone that you got their email. Even a simple “I got it – thanks” goes a long way today to let people know that you understand the message and can implement what needs to happen. You can also be too responsive – emotional emails cause a lot of problems, so anything that may be considered to be sensitive should be taken care of in person instead of through email.
You can be in control. Email can work for you! Implement these ideas and you’ll be able to become more productive and communicative, yet still reduce your overall workload!