Realising that in today’s world email has become an indispensible way of communication, here are 4 suggestions to make sure we use it most effectively:
- Use the Golden Rule!
“If the email message that you are reading is going to take you longer than five minutes to read and reply to, it needs to be a phone call.”
Did you know that more information can be exchanged in a two-minute phone call than in any email that takes us ten minutes to write and the other person ten minutes to read? (The door swings both ways, too).
Remember to avoid sending email messages that are long enough to be newsletters.
Do you yourself read such emails when you receive them? Probably hardly ever.
So don’t expect the people you send it to read them.
- Use filters and different folders
Based on how important and urgent the emails are, use filters and separate folders. Just as you would with paper items.
Avoid at all means using your Inbox or Sent Mail as catchall holding tanks. It makes it very hard for you to realize which emails come first in priority. And it is likely that you will even overlook important emails.
For example, create folders for your critical projects, ASAP follow-up issues, family email, jokes, etc.
- Block off times to process your e-mail
Were you aware that for every email interruption it takes us 64 seconds to get back to the same work rate at which we left?
You may think that it is an insignificant amount of time.
However, if you get 10 interruptions, that adds up to 10 minutes every day. This means in a week you lose almost one hour of precious time.
In order to avoid that, schedule specific times to check and respond to your email. Twice per day should be enough.
And if any real emergencies appear, people will most surely give you a call rather than waiting for you to answer to their email.
- Carefully choose your subscriptions to newsletters and magazines
If you already subscribed to any of these, analyze whether they are enhancing or impairing your overall business performance or personal achievement goals.
Un-subscribe to any that are not. Analyze the remaining subscriptions to determine whether the amount of daily emails is causing a traffic jam on your computer.
Hint: If you consistently hit the delete button or have unread email for more than 2 days, chances are a subscription is too time-consuming. In this case, either request that you receive a compilation of emails at once – usually called a “digest” – or un-subscribe temporarily.