Top 5 tips for smart email management

Monday 16 May 2016 04 am

EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIP 1 - TIME ALLOCATION:

Select a set time (or times) each day to actively check and manage your email. If you are constantly checking email every few minutes you will become distracted and waste a lot more time in your day. Try not to dedicate any more than a half an hour each time. For greater time management try to browse and read emails whilst taking a coffee break and utilise your time afterwards to respond to the more urgent issues prior to resuming other work tasks.


EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIP 2 - GET TO THE POINT:

No one likes to read long emails - keep it short, to the point and help them manage their email tasks equally as effectively. Remember many people manage email on phones or tablets with limited screen viewing space making it harder to take in great reams of text and information. Try to limit to 5-10 sentences and if you need to go outside of that perhaps a phone call would be more productive.


EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIP 3 - VIEW ONCE:

For best time management try to avoid reading and delaying on a quick response. If you can quickly reply or manage an email with a few quick sentences it is smarter to do it immediately rather than dismissing and flagging for later. If you mentally respond it often results in forgetting to reply altogether. If you readdress the email at a later time you are spending twice as much time on it whilst reviewing the email content prior to responding. If you need to dedicate time and attention to an email response or action this may require a second allocation of time but it can also be useful to send a quick response to assure the sender you have received it and will be back to them at a certain time.


EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIP 4 - APPROACH EMAIL SECOND:

For many people the day starts with reading and checking on emails. This can often distract from the original 'first task' of the day. If you tackle your first job on the to-do list for the day and check your emails second you are already off to a far more productive start. Emails can then be checked again late in the afternoon prior to compiling your to-do list for the next day which allows time to work in email requests into your agenda.


EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIP 5 - YOU SET THE STANDARD:

Don't be held hostage from your own actions. If you respond to an email within a short amount of time your contacts will begin to expect this treatment long-term. This can result in urgent requests via email further holding you accountable for ongoing management in the same manner. If you delay in response it teaches your contacts that you can't (and don't) always respond quickly and if it is an urgent matter they need to phone instead. Again this will free up your day and keep you on track for maximum productivity.