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10 Simple Tips for Using Email

10 Simple Tips for Using Email
email

    We all use email, but, sometimes we use it too much or use it inappropriately. To get the most out of email we need to use it carefully and judiciously. These are 10 tips to get the most out of emailing.

    1. Use different email accounts for different purposes.

    It is is good to have separate email accounts for separate purposes. For example, you may have one for business and one for social activities. This means you can check the personal email in the evening without having to think / worry about business. If you see an important message from your boss it could ruin your weekend or evening. At the end of the day you want to be able to get away from work. Don’t allow email to make you a slave to work. Some people feel it is inconvenient to check 2 different email accounts. But the relative inconvenience is easily outweighed by the benefits.

    2. Email is not always the best Form of contact.

    If you have a really important issue or you are upset with someone, emailing is often not the best answer. If necessary speak to the person directly, rather than through an email.

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    3. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person.

    This advice has certainly been given before. But, it is always worth reminding ourselves about the importance of being polite and avoiding unnecessary rudeness. We will regret it later. Email makes it easier to use harsh words because it is impersonal. We need to be very careful.

    4. Use a Good Title

    Many people ignore the title of an email. If the subject changes don’t keep using an old “re:irrelevant title” A good title increases the chance that people will actually read your email, rather than just leaving it for later. A bad title may even get deleted as spam.

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    5. Don’t Ignore Basics of English.

    Just because it is an email, doesn’t mean we have to write like a 5 year old or use text message language. This indicates laziness and a lack of care. If you haven’t time to respond properly, wait until you do. Keep emails brief, but don’t completely ignore the basic use of grammar and spelling.

    6. Keep it Short

    Emails can be brief and to the point. If the message has to be long, make sure it is broken up in to different sections, which are easy to read. But, generally you should aim to keep it less that 5 sentences. This is good for both the writer and the reader.

    7. Acknowledge Important Emails.

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    If somebody sends some important documents, files or message, make sure you, at least, acknowledge their receipt. Otherwise they may be uncertain that they got them. It doesn’t have to be long; it can be quite short.

    8. Create a Standard Responses

    If you find yourself sending similar answers to many people, compose a draft message and save it in your drafts folder (or write it in word). You can use this standard response for emailing many people. Don’t forget to personalise it by adding their name.

    9. Be careful about Replying To All.

    If you are new to email make sure you know the difference between replying to one person and replying to everyone on the initial message. Suffice to say you will send many emails which you would not want to be seen by everyone. It can be extremely embarrassing to send a personal message for everyone to see – it does happen. If you have new workers, make sure they are aware of this distinction. It will save a lot of potential problems.

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    10. Compose Your Signature.

    Having a signature looks professional and saves typing the same information every email. Remember people may wish to contact you through over methods than email. So make sure you have a phone number and address. If relevant add any qualifications and websites that you have. This gives people a chance to find out more about you.

    Tejvan updates various blogs including Net Writing a blog about blogging and increasing productivity. This includes articles such as how to achieve more by doing less. Photo by Tejvan.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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