With the summer season quickly approaching, chances are you’ll be taking some time off of work. Chances are also good that you’ll come back from vacation to an inbox overflowing with email. We understand the challenges of managing a heavy inbox, which is why Mail2World recommends a few tips to keep you from being tethered to your email while you’re away, and to help smooth your transition back from your getaway.
1. Send out a “Heads Up”
Before you leave, contact the 10 to 12 people who email you the most often and let them know that you will be away for a specific length of time. Be sure to leave a contact person who can take care of emergencies while you’re away.
2. Create a Vacation Auto-Response
Having a vacation response is an effective way to automatically notify people that you are out of the office and unavailable. The auto-response also can help deter them from continuously emailing you and loading your inbox with unnecessary messages.
3. Create Email Filters or rules
Creating filters, also sometimes known as rules, is an effective way to prioritize messages that arrive during your vacation. Use filters to sort important emails so you know which to tackle first when you’re back in the office. Sorting messages into separate folders will allow for easy organization of messages based on subject or sender, or by personal or business relationship. For example, you could create a rule for messages from your boss, and another one for important clients. To learn more about how to create and use filters and rules, read our “Using Email Filters, Folders and other Tips” article.
4. Delegate responsibilities
Delegate a point person for your projects. In addition, give that person a way to reach you in case of a real emergency. Be sure to meet with them ahead of time to define what a “real emergency” means and what issues warrant contact with you.
When you get back, set aside time to address important emails that have accumulated. Start with folders dedicated to your boss and important projects, then read and respond to other messages, as needed.
After you have reviewed your important messages, you can go through some less important messages, such as newsletter subscriptions, news alerts and others. Remember, email is a work tool and shouldn’t be transformed into work within itself.
Finally, it is important to remember that everyone has their own method for handling email. It’s up to you to decide which tips work best in your particular circumstances. We hope you found these suggestions helpful.