If you are like most people your job requires you to sit behind a computer for eight hours a day, I’m sure you’ve experienced the agony of siphoning through your email messages. Even if you’ve only step away from your email overnight your inbox has probably received a plethora of messages. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, people spent 28% (13 hours a week) of their time writing, reading, and answering email and another 9 hours tracking down information. In all likelihood the majority of emails received are critical to your job function, but most of us feel obligated to react to any new email. (I know I do when I see my email alert that I’ve received a new message).
Here are some tips from Mail2World on how to prevent email overload and the agony that it causes:
- Set a time limit. Set a time limit on the amount of time you spend going through email each day. For most of us, job descriptions didn’t include “respond to every email message you receive right away.” Answering email is only a small part of the job so let that be your guide as to how much time you devote to email.
- Prioritize. With the amount of emails you get on a daily basis it is imperative that you focus on those messages that are the most important. This is precisely why Mail2World’s advanced email platform provides users with features such as stars, flags, and filtering into folders, enabling users to separate mission critical email from the rest. That means prioritizing people and email subject matter…family, work, friends…what is your priority?
- Filters Are Your Friends. Mail2World has a filtering feature that will allow you to filter messages directly into folders apart from the main inbox. Moving messages into separate folders will allow for easy filtering of messages based on subject, sender, personal or business. To learn more about filters read “Using Email Filters, Folders and other Tips.”
- Write Messages Properly. We’ve written in the past on how important it is to write business email with proper grammar, spelling and be concise so that the recipient can skim through it easily. Check out Mail2World’s 10 Golden Rules for Business Email Etiquette for more detailed tips on writing a better business email.
- Avoid Junk mail like the plague. This is an easy one. Don’t sign up for anything you are not really going to read. At the very least use an email address for junk mail. To help with this tip, please read our article on “How To Fight Spam.”
- Don’t Open Email More Than Once. The basic principal is you should never need to go back to an email again. Once you open an email, give yourself only four choices: delete/file away, delegate, or respond (you could potentially do this in less than two minutes). This prevents you from wasting time by re-reading email.
I hope you all found this post helpful. Happy emailing everyone!