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How Important is Email?

How Important is Email?


    How much time do you spend being consumed by your email? Do you feel like you’re constantly being pulled away from other, important tasks because you can never keep your inbox satisfied?

    If the answer is yes, here’s the question you need to ask yourself: Have you ever stopped to think about just how important your emails are?

    Since the humble email arrived it has managed to supersede most things in our lives! As soon as an email arrives in our inbox, we feel a compelling urge to reply immediately.

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    But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    New research has shown that only 1 in 3 emails are actually essential for work and require an action.

    Chief scientist, Nathaniel Borenstein from Mimecast, (who conducted the research) said:

    “What is clear is that the average employee faces a significant challenge in simply processing the information that comes into their inbox and identifying which messages are genuinely business critical.”

    I’m sure you yourself have experienced this. On average I receive over 100 emails every day. How many of these are really important? Probably less than 10. (Most of them are more of a distraction than of any use.)

    So why not take this new research as a sign to do some spring cleaning? It’s time to create some space in your inbox so you can really focus on the tasks that make a difference to your business or work.

    3 Steps to Spring Clean Your Inbox

    1. Unsubscribe. Be ruthless and unsubscribe from any email newsletter that has not been read over the past 2 weeks. If you’ve not read it, then really how likely are you to in the future? Be realistic and remove those unnecessary subscriptions.

    2. Deal with ‘subscription fear of missing out’. Remember that by unsubscribing you are not missing out. You can always visit the website or blog at your own leisure and access the information. It’s not a final goodbye!

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    3. Set up ‘email rules’. You can set up ‘rules’ so that certain types of emails are immediately placed into an email folder of your choice. This means you keep your inbox clear from emails that are not important. I use this tool to move any ‘newsletter’ emails, as I find these can easily consumer 30 – 40% of my inbox. (Note: I’m a Mac girl so I only know how to do this on a Mac.)

    Here’s the process using Entourage:

    Create a new folder first…

    1. Create a new email folder by going to ‘File’ drop down menu.
    2. Select ‘New’ and then ‘Folder’.
    3. Make sure you give your folder a relevant title such as ‘newsletters’ or ‘personal friends’ (depending on your subject).

    Then, set up some rules…

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    Email Rules
      1. Go to ‘Tools’ drop-down menu.
      2. Select ‘Rules’ and then ‘New’.
      3. Give your rule a title.
      4. Select ‘Add Criterion’ – this should see a box underneath appear that says ‘from’ (if it doesn’t say ‘from’ then select ‘from’ in the drop down menu).
      5. Ensure the box next to ‘from’ says ‘contains’ and then in the box next to this add in the email address that you are creating the rule for.
      6. Underneath you will see a section that says ‘Then’ ‘Add Action’ ‘Remove Action’, here you should see two more boxes alongside each other.
      7. Make sure the first box says ‘move to’ (you may need to select this from the drop down).
      8. In the box next to this you need to select the name of th folder you created in step 1.
      9. Hit ‘OK’ and your rule has been set up! Entourage will now move any emails form the address you inputted into your selected folder!
      10. Go through and create rules for all emails that you think are ‘not urgent’.

      That’s it. Enjoy your new clean and clear inbox!

      (Photo credit: Mail Icon on Screen via Shutterstock)

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      Zoe B

      A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

      How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain 6 Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills Effectively How to Stop Procrastination By Overcoming Boredom 12 Inspiring Quotes from Richard Branson that Enrich your Life 7 Irritating Thoughts That Throw You Off Track

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      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

      How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

      Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

      The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

      Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

      Perceptual Barrier

      The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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      The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

      The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

      Attitudinal Barrier

      Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

      The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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      The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

      Language Barrier

      This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

      The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

      The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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      Emotional Barrier

      Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

      The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

      The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

      Cultural Barrier

      Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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      The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

      The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

      Gender Barrier

      Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

      The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

      The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

      And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

      Reference

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