If you’re anything like the hardworking business owners we deal with, then it’s without question that you receive hundreds of emails a day. It was said, many years ago, that money was the thing that makes the world go round – now it definitely feels like email.
As with many things, there is good and bad practice for dealing with emails.
If you want to make sure you are being effective with your time, and getting things done then effective inbox usage is a key business skill to master. Here are some top tips to put in place to ensure email inbox mastery.
First things first, make sure that you are able to keep sight of the things that need to be actioned and the things that don’t. A lot gets said about inbox zero, but for many of us, it is just a fabled dream. As soon as everything is gotten rid of from the inbox it will be populated again.
It’s vitally important that you keep a track of what needs action, and what doesn’t. Keeping only emails that need your immediate action in your inbox will make it feel much more achievable to stay on top of. For everything else there is…
Make folders and labels your new best friend for your inbox. For everything that isn’t immediately being actioned get it filed away into a sensibly named subfolder or give it a label. This will make things much easier to find when you need them and you won’t feel like you’re drowning in emails when you only need to work on a percentage of the ones you receive.
And whilst we’re on the subject of drowning in emails, it’s worth us talking about junk mail and spam. This is the bane of most email inboxes, signing up for email newsletters and then getting bombarded day in day out. If you consider an email to be junk, bin it and then make sure to unsubscribe so you can try to cut down the inbox weeds as much as possible.
So, by following these rules you can avoid getting bogged down – what can you do to make sure you’re being more effective when it comes to email?
If you get a lot of emails, especially emails that require a response from you that is usually an acknowledgment but little else, it’s time to lean into email templates. Setting up templates for some of your more standard responses to emails will save your buckets of time if you find yourself typing out the same thing again and again. Most importantly this is very easy to set up in Outlook and Gmail.
Finally, a game-changer when it comes to email – block out time in your diary to focus on it. It’s very easy to have email on in the background throughout the working day. This can mean that when a new email comes in it can distract you from the work you’re already engaged with to focus on that. It then becomes much more difficult to get back into the work you were doing before because of the break.
To save yourself from a day devoid of focus, make sure that you set out specific blocks of time in the day to deal just with emails. This will make you more effective at dealing with emails, and then tackling all of your other work too.
Obviously, these are just a few of our favourite tips. If you need any help to improve the technical side of the emails for your business, or any other IT issues – learn more about how Webby Tech can help you here.