Most employees find email management an insurmountable task. Everyday employees receive and send tons and tons of emails, that there are times they can’t get on top of everything on their inbox. They would try to multitask to get everything done and get their emails read. But instead of increasing their productivity, they actually find themselves behind on some of the things they have to do.
Email is an essential tool when doing business. It is usually the application that is used to communicate between employees and between marketers and their customers. If you want to be able to contact your customers quickly, this is the way. Sadly, it has taken over our lives. With the enormous number of emails sent every day, about 250 billion and 121 of that are received by an office worker. It would really be hard to stay both productive and on top of the inbox. Here are some tips to increase productivity while still effectively managing emails.
Stop Checking Your Emails
When you see something unread on your inbox, your first instinct would be to open it and read what’s in it. There is a sort of excitement when getting new messages. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why your productivity is slipping. A research done by Stanford University reveals that multitasking can be actually inefficient and be bad for your brain. So if you think you are getting things done by checking your email and still doing your job. You are sadly mistaken. Stop it before it damages your brain. So first tip is to stop checking your emails. This is not for forever of course, since you eventually have to read your emails. This means to stop checking emails obsessively. Reading one email might lead to two, then to three and before you know it, you have wasted an hour reading your emails. Set a designated time for checking emails and stick to that. You can do it for thirty minutes during lunch time or before going to work. The time will depend on you as long as you stick to that scheduled time. Having an email tracking software will help you schedule your email reading.
Like what was mentioned above, you have to set limits on the amount of time you spend reading emails. If you are at work, you have to set limits on when you are going to check your emails and when you are going to work. Multitasking does not work according to the research mentioned above. So second tip is to set limit on yourself and stick to it too. Here are some steps to undertake to set limits:
- Set an email budget. This is the time it takes you to check your email in proportion to what you have to do. Check the work you still have to do and assess how much time you spend on checking your email. Then set a specific amount of time that should be allocated for checking emails, especially when you still have work to do.
- Set a time. Once you have figured out how much time you need to check your emails, set a specific time of day or week solely dedicated to checking and catching up on emails. It could be thirty minutes to an hour every day, or two to three hours a week. When you need email for your job, this would change. Use your judgment when setting an allocated time for checking emails.
- Focus on important emails. Your allocated time is sure to be limited. So it is important that you tackle the most important emails first before your subscriptions and newsletters. This will ensure that you have read all messages that require action and attention.
Don’t Be Distracted
When dieting, there is this day called cheat day where you get to eat anything that you want even if it is not in your diet plan. In email management, cheat days or cheat minutes that will turn into cheat hours are not acceptable. Allowing yourself to check just one email will disrupt your workflow and destroy the momentum you have going on. So if you want to be productive, don’t be distracted. Stay on your routine and get the job done. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has revealed that even a momentary distraction, 2.8 seconds to be exact, can decrease productivity. Email is a great distraction and it can ruin your productivity.
The top email tracking software will help you manage your emails so you wouldn’t be distracted. But email management software can differ from one another. So be sure read reviews of email management software to know which one will best suit your needs and help you increase your productivity.
Screen Your Emails
When you receive a large amount of emails every day, screening will become necessary. If you have a personal assistant, they can do this for you. Sometimes we feel the need to check our email application as soon as a message arrives. This can kill productivity because it is a distraction like what was mentioned above. There are times that we check our emails because we might think they are important or work related. This is why you need someone to screen your emails. If you can’t get a personal assistant, secretary or another employee to screen your emails, using email management tools can also help. There are email tracking software that helps with enhancing productivity, you just have to find it. Read email tracking software reviews to have an idea which of the softwares are increasing the productivity of their users. Opinions from real life users are valuable since they have really tried and used the software.
Turn Off Notifications
One way to avoid distractions of checking your email is to turn off the notifications. If you aren’t being notified of the hundreds of emails you receive everyday then you wouldn’t know there is something to check. This helps increase productivity. In some applications, there is a function that automatically downloads new emails; you should turn this off too. You don’t have to download all emails that come into your inbox. Most of the emails we receive are not urgent and does not have to be addressed in real time. Stick to your allotted time of checking emails and you will find that you have increased your productivity in work.
Don’t Respond Immediately
If you want to receive fewer emails you also have to send less email. Another is to let the message stew in your inbox in a bit before replying. When you go into an email correspondence, time flies by. You wouldn’t notice that an hour has passed and you are still replying to whomever you were emailing with. According to a survey done by Harris Interactive, 50 is the maximum number of email an employee can handle effectively in a day, anything more than that can damage productivity. If you engage in an email back and forth, you are bound to get more emails than you can handle. So try not respond immediately, unless it’s urgent. And if it is urgent, action is needed not a correspondence. Use an email list management software, it sometimes has an auto-reply option to reply that you are currently occupied so as not to be distracted from your work.
Make Use of the Phone
If there is an emergency, you would probably get a call. If a family member got in an accident the hospital will call you. If your child has been sent to the principal’s office and need a parent, the school will probably also call you. Any work related situation that needs your urgent attention will also be communicated to you through the phone. So if you find yourself wanting to check your inbox in fear there might be something important waiting for you, be rest assured there is not. Go back to work and forget the incessant need to look at your inbox.
If you find yourself in an email back and forth with a co-employee, pick up the phone and just talk about the issue. Emailing back and forth will take longer and probably won’t solve anything. It is also a distraction that you do not need. Picking up the phone will resolve whatever issue there is immediately and you can go back to your work sooner.
Email Is Not for Managing Tasks
Email is a poor substitute for managing your and your team’s tasks. If there are things that have to be done, don’t send them through email. With the number of emails an average employee receives, that email containing tasks will probably be buried six feet under before your employee can see it. There are other avenues for task management other than email. If someone insists to send tasks and events through emails, use email tracking tools to ensure that you won’t miss important emails like that.
Hopefully you have increased your productivity when you followed the tips given in this article. Managing your emails and hitting that wonder inbox zero may be hard but it is not impossible. With the help of some strict daily email routine and the top email tracking software, eventually you will no longer let emails rule your life.
Manage your emails with an email management software. Check the reviews to know which will help you increase productivity while managing emails effectively.
Latest posts by Jeev Trika (see all)
- 5 Reasons to Use Compliance Software for Business Management - November 25, 2016
- How to Find Reliable Reviews of Video Conferencing Software - November 24, 2016
- Why You Must Read Best Business Intelligence Software Reviews - November 23, 2016