One of the biggest killers of good time management at work is the email inbox. This is because most workers see it as a work tool and not something that can eat away at their day. By effectively managing your inbox, you can save time without sacrificing how effective email is in helping you do your job. In fact, you can make your email more efficient than ever.
Minimize the Junk
One of the first things you want to do is get rid of the junk. There are several reasons why people spend so much time in their inbox. The first is they have to sift through all of the junk mail to find the important emails. This includes having to delete an email after determining that it isn’t important. The second is reading emails that would be best read at home. The third is having to take time out to delete junk mail when it hits the inbox.
To solve this, don’t use your work email to subscribe to email lists that don’t have anything to do with work. You can also get news from an RSS reader instead of getting it in your email. To use an RSS reader, you simply sign up for an account and enter the URLs of the sources you’d like to keep up with.
Email automation can be your best friend. It will help you increase your productivity because you won’t have to drop everything you’re doing to answer an email. First, you can set up auto-reply to let the sender know that he or she can expect your response.
You can also automate your follow-up by putting your email address in the CC field when you respond to an individual. Set up a folder where emails to yourself will automatically be stored. When you need a response from a client or customer, you can go to this folder to follow up if he or she hasn’t gotten in touch with you yet.
Write Emails Faster
People tend to hesitate at the end of an email because they don’t know how to sign off. This is a time management killer. Most people simply end their emails wrong. Simply end the email. You don’t have to sign off. If you aren’t comfortable with that, end it with “regards” and your name. Make sure you have your job title and contact details in your signature line so you don’t have to write those details every time you email someone.
Also, get to the point when writing an email. Get out of comfort mode and leave out the background information. When recipients see a long email, they are going to skim and miss details. Get to the bottom line right from the start and understand your priorities when writing the email. Doing these things will help you correspond much faster.
Know When to Pick up the Phone
Sometimes, correspondence requires a telephone call instead of typing an email. Not everyone dwells over their inbox, so they may not immediately get an email when you need a quick answer. Other times, you may have to opt for face-to-face communication. If someone has a history of not replying to your emails promptly, call the person or walk to his or her desk to get the answers you need. It’s all about making the right decisions for the sake of productivity.