Is your email killing you?
Email is a great tool. Everyone uses it! It is so great that you feel compelled to check your email all the time, it might be the first thing you check when you wake up?! Since you do check your email often, you also expect other people to check their emails all-the-time. We are different individuals and most of us don’t have any strategy for email, This never-ending checking/reading/replying can take up hours of time.. But ONLY if you let it. If you want to know how you can optimize your email management and use email as a tool to your advantage – keep reading!
This is article 1 of 2 read
3 biggest lessons from this article:
- Take control – set aside time
- Automate everything you can
- Have a system and STICK TO IT, everything is hard in the beginning.
1) Let your email program manage your email as much as possible.
Email management starts with setting up and using filters. If you’re using an email program such as Outlook, you can configure email rules to send your spam directly to the trash – meaning that you don’t waste your time reading and deleting it.
- Implement CC rule – if you are CC:d move that email to a specific CC-folder, for reading later
- CC rule – if you are CC, you are not directly the target for this email
- Useful apps for gmail like OtherInbox that sorts your mail for you
2) Do not check your email on demand.
turn off as many notifications as you can!
Checking email on demand can seriously interfere with whatever other tasks you’re trying to accomplish.
3) Schedule reading and replying.
Don’t read and answer your email all day long. You may get anywhere from a handful to hundreds of emails each day that need to be answered, but they don’t need to be answered immediately. Instead, set aside a particular time each day to review and answer your email.
Schedule one pomodoro at a time (20-25min). Take the time you need to answer the volume of email you get, and stick to that schedule as regularly as possible.
Tim Ferriss suggests 2 or 3 times per day in his book The Four Hour Work week and have autoresponders that you only reply to emails between 10-11 and 15-16 or whatever time you prefer. I try to have 3 sessions daily using the pomodoro technique where I set 25 minutes and go consistently reading and replying.
4) Don’t answer your email at your most productive time of day.
For many people the most productive work time is the morning. If I start my day by answering my email, I lose the time that I’m at my most creative. Do your most important work when you feel fresh and alert. Molly Pittman suggests that you should have “CRITICAL TIME” in the morning until 11 and DO NOT disturb your colleagues at this time in the podcast: Smart Time Online
What time of day is your most productive? Scheduling less demanding tasks such as checking, reading and answering email outside of your “best” working time will help you make the most of your working day – and that’s good email management.
5. Use keyboard shortcuts
Write the text in the subject – this saves time and makes it easy for your receivers to understand
- Delete: Shift + #
- Move to cabinet: V (which starts “move to”) and then C (short for Cabinet)
To get more information about shortcuts simply click Shift + ? in Gmail
- Control + Shift + 1: Mark as follow up category
- Control + Shift + 2: Move to Archive
- Control + Shift + 3: Move to the folder “Waiting”
More of outlook in part 2 of this series
Call to Action:
implement one of the above techniques in your email management… TODAY!
Let us know your best tips for optimizing email management.
This was part one of two in this series. Read part 2
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Thank you for reading and listening! You are awesome! 🙂