Do you receive too many emails without enough time to respond to them all? Sometimes technology can actually slow you down instead of making you more productive. They key is to understand email management and learn how to effectively get the right emails responded to and the wrong emails out of your way. Then, you can prioritize your goals and dreams and starting checking off your to-do list.
Email Management: How to Love Your Inbox Again
If you feel like a lot of extra work has been piled on top of you at work, start thinking about how you can be more productive in your inbox. Email management is all about taking control of your inbox and not letting your inbox control you.
The Biggest Problem of Email:
One of the biggest email management problems is keeping your email open during the workday so that you see when new emails come in. You stop the important task, procrastinate and respond to unimportant emails right away even if they can wait. Then you click a link and all of a sudden you are reading about someone you went to high school with and what their sister is doing. Sound familiar?
This constant flood of emails is actually slowing down your productivity. Here is what Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, says about technology. “E-mail is the largest single interruption in modern life. In a digital world, creating time therefore hinges on minimizing e-mail.”
The Solution to Email Madness:
1. Only Check Your Email Certain Times of the Day
Do not always keep your inbox open, especially when you are working on important tasks. Close down your email and set a timer for an hour or two to focus only on your priorities. Then, when you are done with your priorities, you will be able to batch your email responses and respond back to multiple emails at once. This is how you will be able to get more done in less time and really make progress towards completing your goals.
2. Eliminate Instead of Organize
Strive to constantly eliminate instead of organize. Create not-to-do lists and cancel, fire, subtract, and eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Tim Ferriss says, “If you remove all the static and distraction, priorities become clear, execution becomes a one-item to-do list, and time management isn’t even necessary.” What tasks and meetings can you eliminate so they don’t even make it on that never ending to-do list in the first place?
Ferris says that “Elimination is about time management, or rather about not managing time. This is achieved applying the 80/20 rule to focus only on those tasks that contribute the majority of benefit. There’s a difference, Ferriss says, between efficiency and effectiveness.” The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
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3. Focus Only On the 20% of Your Efforts That Gets Results
Psychology Today gives this tip: Let’s say that you work a typical eight-hour day. If it’s true that you get 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your efforts, what could happen if you got laser beam focused for 96 minutes each day (20 percent of eight hours)? To give it a try, get a timer and set it for 96 minutes. Without interruptions, focus on your No.1 priority for the day. Try this as early in the day as possible, before you get bogged down with e-mails, returning calls, meetings or other distractions.
4. Get Away From Email
There are so many apps on the market now that get you away from email. My entire team hardly uses email. Instead, we send messages back and forth through our project management software, Asana. This allows our messages to to be based off the actual tasks instead of just lined up in an inbox. We can set deadlines and monitor things without clogging our inboxes. This tip alone has decreased emails clogging our inbox by 75%.
5. Set Up Filters
Are you constantly deleting and moving the same emails every day? Well, that’s impacting your productivity and your brain power when you do these mindless things each day. Instead, set up filters where emails are automatically removed or moved to certain folders. Then, when you are ready to consume that content, you know where to find it.
What are your tips to manage emails and stay productive?
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