Four Steps For More Effective Email Management
One of those little demons that sometimes doesn't allow us to be as productive as we want to be is our Email. Here a few steps to manage your inbox in a more effective and productive way.
Most of us entrepreneurs face a common enemy "Not Enough Time", simply because we wear too many hats; we are the business managers, bookkeepers, sales experts and PR geniuses of our businesses. And let's not forget that contrary to common belief, we also have a personal and social life (or at least we hope to have it back one day)
One of those little demons that sometimes doesn't allow us to be as productive as we want to be is our Email. If you've been in business for a while, you might be receiving anywhere between 30 to 50 work-related emails a day. Here are a few tips that might help you be more productive when it comes to Email. I apply then on my business and it has saved me hours/week in front of the computer.
Classify your email. You do not want to have important email getting lost in the "pile". Your Inbox should contain only email that requires immediate attention. Make it a habit to answer emails within 24-48 hours, it'll make a good impression for your clients and business peeps. If you need to research the topic before you reply; let the sender know that you're working on it, so that he/she doesn't think you forgot.
Set up folders for all those emails that do not require immediate action. How you name each folder will be entirely up to you and your business needs, what is really important is how you use those folders. Here are some folders I've been using in my business: A. Business Leads / B. Content Development / C. Industry News / D. For future reference. This last category might include testimonials about your work that you plan on including on your website or ideas and suggestions for collaborative projects.
Set time aside for those emails that left your inbox and were moved into other folders. You can either check those folders at the end of the day when all other pressing tasks have been taken care of or just a few times a week. Just don't forget to check them. Don't let the content in the other folders go dormant. You still have to take action.
Avoid distractions by checking email no more than twice a day. Turn off all email notifications or they will generate a distraction, not allowing you to remain focused on the task at hand. Unsubscribe from any newsletter that doesn't bring enough value to your business or personal growth. Even better, keep newsletters that concern your personal life (shopping, travel, hobbies, etc) in your personal email, do not mix them with your business email. "Fun" emails have the potential to do generate distraction.
The better organized you are with your emails, the faster you will be able to respond to emails that are instrumental in your business. A quick response makes a good impression. It's not about how many hours you work; it's all about how productive you are during those hours.
I hope these tips on how to organize your inbox are of help to you and that you are able to dedicate more time to other projects instead of sorting through an endless list of emails.
Learn more about the author, Silvia Reed.
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- email management
- time management