How to Battle Email OverloadJanuary, 29 2013
Have you ever lost an entire day to your inbox? Some of us spend a large part of our day on email. According to the Los Angeles Times, a study found the average employee spends a third of their workday dealing with email.
The number of emails you receive will continue to grow every year. Harvard Business Review recently provided three tips to help you get a grip on your email.
Make Sure Email is the Right Communication
All communications aren’t necessarily appropriate for email. Sometimes a quick phone call can eliminate dozens of emails. A five-minute call may be more efficient than an email message to adequately explain the situation.
Put Down Your Smartphone
Don’t respond to emails in-between meetings. Wait until you get back to your desk or computer so you can craft a better response in less time.
Target Your Communication
Irrelevant messages are not opened and can create a negative impression. Only include the people that need to see your email. Ask yourself, “Does that recipient really need the information?”
To reduce needless emails, anticipate what your recipient’s questions will be after they read your message. Communicate more thoroughly and include the answers you think they may have.
Not all emails are created equal. Some need your attention right away, while others should be archived or deleted. Flags and other prioritization signals help will help, but make sure you don’t give each email the same amount of attention up front.
Set a Time Limit
We get a brief sense of accomplishment when we clear out our inbox, but it’s usually short-lived because email never stops. Determine how much time you want to spend on your inbox. For instance, create 15-minute blocks every few hours to stay on top of email so it won’t take over your day.
Use Headlines and Bullets
You might have already noticed, but most people don’t read your email in the fast-paced digital world. We look for highlights so use headlines, bullets, boldface type, and other design practices. Use them in your emails and make sure your calls to action are obvious.
Email pours in, without a break to its flow and we check it incessantly. It can be a huge time-suck and if you aren’t careful, it can eat up most of your week.
How do you deal with email overload?
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