December 8, 2014 | Adrian Eskew
Without a doubt, email is one of the better tools to come out of the technology age. I love the simplicity of sending a message out and awaiting an eventual return. It helps keep things productive and avoids the trap of lengthy phone calls.
Although email is a great tool for productivity, it is not always as efficient as we need it to be. When you get busy, it’s important to not let email rule your schedule, but equally important to manage it well. Here are some of my practical tips for managing email overload.
Having just one email account may seem completely logical, but think about it, all of your emails are being funneled into one hopper. This not only makes for a busy inbox, but emails from your spouse or mom mixed in with important business emails can make for a confusing experience.
I’ve always had several different email accounts. I generally try to keep them separate so that I avoid clutter. Here are some of the account types I create:
You get the picture. With services like gmail making it so easy to create new accounts, there is no reason you should still be using only one.
If you get email messages on your phone or have desktop notifications enabled you know how distracting it can be to see a message pop up that seems important. It is so easy to lose precious time from the distraction of compulsively checking email. Not only do you get sidetracked, but you also have to regain focus to try and get back on task.
I like to limit the number of times I check emails each day. And when I do check for new messages, I make sure I have the time to devote to reading and responses.
I do setup folders for important messages that I may want to go back to one day, but everything else gets deleted, archived or left in the inbox until it is processed. If you obsessively sort emails into folders and subfolders, it’s time to stop. It is so much quicker just to search for a message than try to remember what folder you stored it in.
If you’re part of the ‘inbox zero’ crowd, it’s even easier. Every message is simply archived or deleted and occasionally marked for follow up. That’s it.
I know some people that can’t stand to let an email sit, hopping on it while the notification is still fading away. Please don’t fall into this trap. It is easy to turn email into the worlds most inefficient chat program, but consider making a phone call or spending a few more minutes on a thought-out response before taking ten minutes to volley messages back and forth.
It is easy to turn email into the worlds most inefficient chat program…
Remember, emails are meant to be a quick form of communication, but not instant. Consider a text message or quick phone call before sending an email you know will get batted around.
Like I mentioned, email is a great tool for communication. Used properly, it can even help make you a more efficient adjuster. Avoid the traps of email and regain that lost hour or two of your day, I promise no one will be upset and if they are, maybe they’ll call.
What tips do you have for email success. Share in the comments!
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