The impact of technology in our lives seems to be always on a two-way street; we reap tumultuous benefits on one side, but eventually, we got overwhelmed that we tend to lose control on the other side.The more we see communication systems flourish, the more we get greater demands for faster and immediate responses from our families and peers, our work superiors and our clients. The more work is lifted from our shoulders through technology based productivity tools, the more that we depend on it. And many businesses suffer immensely without it too.
Sources of Work Overload in the Workplace
The workplace is a boundless source of energy-consuming and patience-taking tasks and activities. It is also teeming with deadlines and demands from almost sources; whether from your boss, your peers, or your clients. Add that continuously changing technology and market economy, and your mind can blow up in three seconds.
Work overload is one of the most prevalent reasons of stress in the workplace. It happens for a variety of reasons, which include excessive demands from superiors, or the employee’s own negligence. It can also be influenced by many factors like disorganization, and lack of clear and effective protocols. Among many aspects of a business, communication is one of the most critical pathways for data to draw into your system. One of the prevailing methods used in engaging communications in the workplace is the email.
The email has become a constant thing in the workplace. The impact of digital technology has reached the way we communicate, and can either make or break us in the process. Consequently, poor email management is one of those lingering roots that affects our everyday productivity and efficiency with executing tasks in the workplace. When you reached that point that emails distract you instead of just making you informed or engage you in communication, then it could be that you are suffering from an email overload.
Productivity Hacks for Emails That Work
The use of emails is beneficial on its own, but can be quite challenging to deal especially when as an employee, you have other tasks to do aside from going through it. The workplace is an environment that is prone to stress and overload, so a smart employee should also have the skill to balance his time, and come up with ways and hacks that can make him more efficient, productive and effective in the workplace.
- More is less.
Too many categories for your email inbox folders can be overwhelming and make you feel less satisfied. Keeping up this way meant that you are not aware, or maybe you are underestimating the searching capabilities of your email server.It is wise to keep less classification options that are not too generalized nor too specific. That way, you can view less, but is definitely using a more productive approach in email management is underway.
Getting familiar with the integrated tools that your email server has can make it easier to better manage your emails using what you already have, and in the same platform. Having email backlogs can be discouraging, but it is best to address it as soon as possible. It shouldn’t be a stressful task to do, especially that your email server is powerful enough to help you jump-start the process. Deploying email management tools can further maximize your time and efficiency in executing this. For reviews of email management tools, click here.
- Use an RSS reader.
RSS, or Rich Site Summary, is a customizable format of delivering your preferred web content, websites or blogs. RSS readers save you valuable time from searching and manually filtering the internet over what you are most interested to read in. It automatically saves your preferences, and returns related topics and the latest news about it. This way, you are better informed, and be ensured that your privacy won’t be violated.
RSS readers can also lessen your need for specific email or newsletter subscriptions, that contribute to the bulk of email you receive every day. It can also effectively separate your personal interests from business related topics in your email account, which make it easier to manage while satisfying both needs.
- Manage email newsletters and subscriptions.
An efficient email management system starts by eliminating the least prioritized types of your business emails such as some email newsletters and subscriptions that have irrelevant content or which just purely for marketing purposes. Keeping them in another avenue, say, downloading a mobile app of a company that interests you, will give better control on what goes into your email inbox.
- Adopt a systematic way of dealing with your emails using automation and email tools.
Enabling the auto responder feature of your email server can compel you to respond better with your incoming emails. It is quite tricky, however, to use an auto responder but delaying the actual response, because it appears to be an impersonal approach on the recipient’s end. Keeping this in mind would actually force you to respond right away, or at least for you to set aside a regular period of time to answer them in a timely manner.
- Set priorities in email usage.
It doesn’t mean when you are in a professional workplace is that you will use the email in communicating every single time. Make smarter emails by restricting it to more important matters that calls for black and white agreements, or for something that should be better recorded. Emails are effective across different purposes for communication, but to maximize it without adding strain to your workload, it should be used appropriately and responsibly.
- Adopted cluttering methods.
A regular and routine email inbox check and decluttering can make a big difference on how you can effectively lessen your workload. But getting to the root of the “problem” is the best and most efficient way to gain better control of your email. As you go through your emails, jot down all and recurring sources: newsletter subscriptions, social media account notifications, customer inquiries, etc. From there, you can start eliminating the unnecessary and the least important subscriptions. Email notifications might be best to turn off instead. After the email “revamping”, you can set standards or protocols regarding future subscriptions and notification options, in order to spare you to go through the same elaborate procedure again.
- Gain better email inbox control with automated reminders and filtering methods.
Your email management software is capable to deploy more productivity features than your email server. One of which is its ability to implement email filters.
An email filter is a program, which filters and segregates emails and puts them into different categorized folders according to your specified criteria. It is a way to organize emails automatically into separate folders intended for personal, subscriptions, productivity, etc. Emails can also be categorized based on the email address of the recipient, its subject, or a keyword or set of keywords in its content.
Another type of filter is a spam filter. Spam messages are usually the uncategorized types of emails, or that which are unsolicited or used for advertising. Spam filters are immediate to take action to unwanted emails by refraining it to reach your email inbox in the first place. Filtering spam messages though are quite tricky and will have to require a fine judgement and filtering criteria. This is the reason why some have hesitations to use it.
- Maximize your communication systems.
Emails are not the sole effective type of communication system that can be used in the business. Text, web conferences, voicemails and telephone calls are just some of the equally effective communication methods that can be used, depending on the purpose. Emails imply formality, and can drive several points without taking much of your time. This is an aspect that drives employees to use email frequently, which also helpful when multitasking. But when there is a need for an immediate answer, or you are addressing a sensitive issue or argument, face to face communication, or a phone call might just be more effective to use.
- Maximize your collaboration software.
After all, businesses thrive because of the team effort of its employees. For some, a collaborative management software can be more effective to use than emails.
Collaboration tools facilitate group work in the business, wherein one of its key components is an effective and robust communication system. Emails can be lousy when it comes to real time interaction or communication, so in some cases, other business tools, especially in initiating communication, can still be utilized.
- Get an email management tool.
According to an email statistics, as of 2015, an employee receives about 121 emails a day at an average. Just imagine how much time should be set aside to read and sort out these numbers, which can be diverted to other tasks instead. Thankfully, the additional help of an email organization software can dramatically improve the performance over executing the daunting task of email management. An email management app is capable of handling emails and automates some processes that concern its organization, sorting, archiving and locating. Inbox management tools are actually intelligent to recognize the value of an email, and classify it accordingly.
The cost of technology has the tendency to be great if it corrupts us of our own sense of responsibility and management accountability. After all, technology should never be meant to replace humans, or rob us from establishing relationships among our families, friends, co-workers and business associates. Technology works where there is a collaborative effort of individually performing employees; where each contribute according to his or her own line of expertise or talent. Acknowledging individual efforts in the workplace is a way of filling your business with empowered people that works best even when under pressure, or uncertain circumstances.
The best email management tools can help you achieve that freedom from the binding task of organizing your business emails. For more information about the latest and most advanced management technologies for your business, read these reviews of email management tools here.
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