Do you feel that there’s not enough time in your day to wade through and clear your inbox? Administering your emails efficiently releases time and allows you to be proactive, concentrating on strategic activities.
Here’s how to manage your emails like a pro
1) Learn your email program
To learn shortcuts, little tricks and ways of cutting the time it takes to perform certain tasks, you need to take the time to learn about your email software. Most systems offer the ability to automate, filter and create rules based on email criteria.
There are countless articles online (and even dedicated sites) which will offer insight into how to get the most out of whatever system you use.
2) Prevention is better than cure
Before sending emails, stop and think about whether it can be optimised to reduce the resulting burden on your time.
Instead of defaulting to a recipient group or department ask yourself whether every person in that list needs to receive your email. The fewer the number of people you include on your emails, the fewer responses you need to read and, as a result, potentially fewer questions to answer.
Make sure your emails are clear and concise, reducing the potential for further questions regarding the content. Make sure any instructions are well written and explained and that actions are clearly assigned to individuals where relevant.
Your emails should not invite more work for you to do, they should progress you in the work your already doing.
3) Unsubscribe before deleting
It sounds obvious but how often do you take the time to click on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link on a marketing email or newsletter. It’s very easy just to delete the email and forget about it until next time, rather than get rid of it permanently.
Whenever you receive a mass email that’s not of interest, make sure to unsubscribe. Pretty soon you’ll notice the difference in the number of irrelevant emails you’re receiving.
When completing the unsubscribe process, pay particular attention to the options, some sites will unsubscribe you from one email, but continue to send others. Always select to stop ALL future emails from where appropriate.
4) Use filters and rules
Using filters and rules to automatically sort your inbound emails is an effective way to reduce the time required administering your inbox each day.
Sorting emails into appropriate folders depending on their origin, importance or subject is just one way that you can start to organise your workflow and manage messages better.
Using apps that automatically insert snippets of text that are used often is also a nice tool to help shave some time off of your daily email admin. Apps such as Phrase Express can be used in Windows to set such snippets up, saving you the time to write repetitive phrases over and over.
5) Use email ‘windows’
Rather than constantly checking your emails, and distracting you from your current task or activity, set windows of time throughout the day to check and respond to emails.
By scheduling time to concentrate on emails you can give them your full and undivided attention, rather than trying to multi-task.