It seems like we all struggle with keeping email under control. If that’s you, read on because Tracey Warren from Professional Organising Solutions shares her tips for reducing email overwhelm.
The never-ending deluge of messages arriving in our inboxes can seem overwhelming.
Here are a few tips on managing messages to help you stay in control:
- Reduce the amount of incoming messages to be dealt with – UNSUBSCRIBE from any organisations who are sending messages you do not wish to receive.
- Limit the frequency of checking emails. Constantly checking emails is disruptive. You will be more efficient and productive if you spend blocks of time focusing on planned tasks. You need to check emails at least once per day, and the frequency required will vary depending on your role. If you have an audio email alert, disable it.
- Create folders. You can use these to store messages that you need to keep, but don’t require action.
- Delete any messages that you don’t need to keep. On the very odd occasion when you find that you need to get a deleted email back, you should still be able to retrieve it from your “deleted messages” folder.
- Deal with the quick and easy emails first. Open each message and make a quick decision about what to do with it. Can it be deleted? Can it be filed in one of your folders? As a rule of thumb, if the message can be dealt with in less than about two minutes, you should deal with it and get rid of it straight away.
- Try to limit your inbox to containing a maximum of one page of emails at all times. Tips 3, 4 and 5 should go a long way towards helping you to achieve this. The main advantage of this strategy is that you can see all of the messages that are awaiting action at a glance.
Tips for writing more effective emails:
- The key to making any form of communication effective is to be aware of the recipient at all times. Try to put yourself in their shoes and consider whether your message is readily understandable.
- Be concise.
- Be clear. Stick to the point and be specific about the response you are seeking.
- Make an effort with spelling and grammar – poor spelling and grammar can create a bad impression, particularly in a professional setting.
- Be courteous. If the tone of your message is pleasant and appropriate, you will make a good impression, and you are more likely to receive a positive response.
- An annoying issue in many workplaces is the huge number of emails that are CC’d to people who don’t need to see them. Think twice before you do this to others. When it comes to time wasting CC’s, sharing is definitely NOT caring, it is irritating and unproductive!
Based in Adelaide, Tracey Warren from Professional Organising Solutions helps individuals, families and businesses to gain freedom from clutter and disorganisation.
Call her on 0423 694 452, or email firstname.lastname@example.org