Emails. They never seem to stop, and it’s easy to get buried in them. But there are some people out there who have their inboxes under control no matter what. Their secret? They’ve mastered seven key skills to effectively manage their daily email deluge and get more done.
Here’s an inside look at how successful people handle email effectively:
They set aside time daily to deal with emails.
Choose several windows of time each day to tackle your inbox and focus on responses. Depending on their jobs, some professionals take five minutes at the top of each hour to deal with their messages or put aside time each morning and afternoon to deal with their emails. Block off time on your electronic calendar for dealing with email daily so meetings or any other distractions keep you away from handling your email. By making time on their daily calendar to deal with email, they increase their overall productivity because they aren’t worried about it while writing that big report.
They prioritize responses.
Take a quick look at your inbox and some messages just naturally jump out at you: emails from your boss, a key client or sales prospect. Open them and respond right away; touch it once and be done. Wait for more time in the day to read the emails from your favorite retailers.
They use standard responses.
Depending on your job, there may be key frequently used statements and phrases. Format those and plug them in your emails; it will save you time. For example, if you receive a lot of proposals as part of your job, you can create a message like this: “Thank you for contacting me and sending me your proposal. I will look at it and get back to you as soon as I can.” If you use this standard response, you’ll cut down on the amount of time spent on email.
They aim to respond within 24 hours.
This may sound easy, but as more emails come in, messages get pushed down and can easily be forgotten. Make it a goal to respond within one business day to all messages that come in.
They don’t respond to every email.
Yes, you read that correctly. Not every email needs a response. If the email is just informational and doesn’t require a response, don’t send one. Or if you’re one of those people who feel like they have to respond, send a one sentence response such as “Thank you. I received the email.”
They remove themselves from unnecessary subscription lists.
Truly effective email managers do not sign up for daily newsletters, blog updates, and alerts on their social media accounts. They utilize other tools, such as RSS feeds or a blog reader to keep track of their favorite blogs and information sources. And what about emails from retailers plugging their wares? Use a separate email to handle all those requests and browse through when you have time. That way, you won’t be distracted by the latest sale at your favorite store when you should be responding to a request from your boss.
They leave emails with links to articles and videos for later.
These emails usually take more time and are often sent for your information (or entertainment). Save some time every day – maybe in the mid-afternoon when you’re looking for a little break – to click on these emails and read the articles or watch the videos. Once you’re done viewing, you can respond to the sender if necessary or just click delete.
By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to handle email effectively and spend more time focused on getting your work done.