Email can be an incredibly useful communication tool, but it can also be very overwhelming if you don’t stay organized. Don’t let your inbox take over your day. Instead of dreading the moments when you need to catch up on your inbox, follow these helpful tips to get the most out of communicating through email:
Don’t let your tasks live in your inbox
If all of your tasks are living in emails, you’ll constantly be distracted every time one comes in. It takes about 23 minutes to regain focus once you’ve been distracted, and the average office worker is distracted every three minutes. If you’re reacting to every email in your inbox, you’ll start to focus on what’s urgent and not what’s important.
Set aside time to check your inbox
Assign yourself at least 15-minute a day to check your inbox. Setting time aside will help increase your productivity, so you aren’t constantly distracted by your notifications. When you set aside time, you won’t be tempted to read and respond every few minutes. However, if you check your emails first thing in the morning, you’ll convince yourself that each one is urgent, and you’ll never get anything done. Whatever you do, don’t be a slave to your notifications.
Email others how you want to be emailed
A lot of us spend a great amount of time composing a well articulated and thought out messages. However, if you want to communicate through email effectively, you’ll need to make sure that you have a clear and concise message. Keep it short, error-free and friendly. Determine whether a message is really necessary, or if a quick phone call will suffice in clearing up confusion or creating deliverables. The less time you spend in your inbox deciphering the actionable items, the more time you have to be productive and complete the tasks at hand.
Determine what’s important
All email clients should have a way to star or flag emails that require a little more mind-share than others. Chances are not every email needs your attention right away, and sometimes situations have a way of working themselves out before you get around to responding. Saving time is a wonderful thing!