So many of us now have to deal with large volumes of email in addition to our other work tasks. The constant flow of emails that need to be answered can become a real hassle, distracting you throughout the day!
Our project management expert, Chris Nial, has some great tips for you to manage your email effectively:
- Designate e-mail checking times. Don’t keep your browser open through the day as you tackle other work. As soon as a new-mail notification pops up, you feel compelled to check your mail. Constant interruptions take a toll on your productivity. Instead, close your browser and set a time for yourself to check and respond to mails. Try and schedule this in your non-peak hours – your peak hours should be devoted to your most important tasks.
- Adopt the two-minute rule. If it’s going to take less than two minutes for you to respond to the email, get it done immediately. For mails that require more time and thought, schedule a time to respond later: make a note on your to-do list or highlight the email in your inbox. This rule helps you keep your inbox at a manageable level while still devoting your full attention to emails that require it.
- Organise your inbox. A cluttered inbox can increase your stress levels and impact efficiency. Try and categorise your emails into simple categories that work for you. You can label them, colour code them, create subcategories…most email programs offer a variety of orgnisation methods. Archive items that you don’t need at hand but may need to refer to at a later date – this gets them out of your inbox without deleting them.
- Use filters. Use email settings to keep your inbox relevant. For instance, you may receive several project update emails a day – you want to be able to refer to these, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox. Create a separate folder and reroute all update emails to it, using the subject line or sender address as a filter. You can do the same for newsletters or article feeds.