Twenty years ago, email was a novel way of staying in touch with friends. Now it’s a permanent reminder of things you should be doing!
It doesn’t have to be a constant source of stress! Here are some strategies for reducing email overload:
Start from the bottom
According to IT expert Peter Moriarty, the best way to attack your emails is from the bottom, not the top. “An important step in mastering your inbox is to learn to work from the bottom up. When you work from oldest to newest, you’ll never let it get completely out of control as you’re always dealing with the last email in your inbox. This is the most difficult discipline to master, yet the most important.” says Peter.
Call a daily meeting
An effective strategy is to set up a time for you and your team to get together every day. As well as reducing time spent going back and forth on email, team meetings increase accountability and help to build company culture. They allow each staff member to understand what the others are doing to keep moving the company forward.
Do you pause over emails you don’t really need to be reading? Take the time to get rid of them. If you’d rather not kill them off completely you can set up a folder for emails that contain the word ‘Unsubscribe’ so that they’re not directly flooding your inbox and taking your attention away from more important tasks.
Stop group discussions
A lot of back and forth between a number of stakeholders often results in mixed meanings and a lack of real outcomes. If you need to brainstorm or problem solve, get everyone together for a proper meeting. Plan an agenda, take notes and email a concise summary at the end of the meeting so that everyone is clear and on the same page.
Set aside time each day for emails and then switch them off
Allocate time each day when you will check email and stick to it. Respond to the urgent issues and then add other tasks to your to-do list for the rest of the day or week.
If you’re concerned about your clients expecting you to respond instantly, set up an auto-response that explains that you aren’t always online and clarifies when you will be able to respond.
Encourage your staff to get on board with similar practises and you’ll notice the difference it makes to the overall time spent on email across your business.
Dale Beaumont is the CEO of Business Blueprint, he regularly runs live events that you can find out more about by clicking here in fact in less than 3 weeks he will be visiting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.