After last week’s article about dealing with an overflowing inbox, this week I’ll add some more handy tricks to have less quantity and more quality email in your life.
Part 7/8 – 8 Practical Solutions To Email Mismanagement
1. Delete newsletters. Face it: you’re never going to get through all those interesting newsletters and offers. Let it go, you can find whatever you need in Google when the time is right. So delete all those daily, weekly and other digest mailers from your ‘To process’ and press that Unsubscribe button.
2. Send less emails. Call, or visit. Get your answer from the horse’s mouth, and avoid endless email conversations with half the world in CC. Do not mail someone who is sitting across from you! A good test: when you feel the impulse to send a mail ask yourself: ‘Can I solve this myself?’ You probably can, can’t you!
3. Summarize. Some people are addicted to email. They’re like living status updates, including every thought they have and sending it to everyone even remotely connected. Very tiring, especially when they contain small todo’s for you. How to deal with them? Scan the contents quickly, don’t answer them and collect them in your ‘Action’ folder (see the previous post on email management).
Plan some time to process them. Then group them by sender, go through them in one go and write down the todos. You can even send that person an email with your list, just so they know you’re on it.
4. Send shorter emails. Do not rewrite the bible. Long emails are tiring to read and no-one really gets what you’re saying anyway. Less is more. Keep it under 4 sentences. Or how about this for a short answer: resist the urge to answer at all. If you want a friendly chat with lots of fluff, call them.
5. Check your emails less. 3 to 5 times a day should do it. You can always be on top of things and make sure everything is take care of. Even better: you can let things run their course while you get your work done.
6. Make rules. You could apply a CC filter that makes mails that aren’t addressed directly to you go to a separate folder. You can plan some time to go through it, without wasting time on email conversations. Stop being irritated with it, just ignore it.
7. Feel free to delete a lot of emails. Emails is like stuff in the attic: very hard to get rid of. What if you ever need any of it again? I can personally say that I’ve hardly ever needed any of my emails again, and when I did I found another way to deal with the situation. Live in the present, let go of the past. You can do it!
8. Avoid working double. When you get the same question all the time, write down your answer in a document or email template. Or put it on the website, and refer to it in your answer.
The next and last article of this eight-part series will lift the veil on how to work from home and still be efficient.
Don’t forget to check out the previous articles in this series:
- 6 Surprising Causes Of Procrastination
- How To Overcome Procrastination – RIGHT NOW
- The One And Only Way To Increase Productivity
- 10 Simple Ways To Improve Productivity Right Now
- How To Set Priorities – Stephen Covey’s Time Management Grid Revealed
- How To Manage E-mail Overload In 3 Easy Steps
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