Email is the most used communication channel by companies and professionals, occupying much of the time previously used for letters and fax machine. This mean of communicating has changed the speed of our communication and streamlined work processes. The growth and ease of access to this technology have led us to be exposed to excessive information and contacts, forcing users to use more effective techniques and tools for email management.
Here are 8 tips that will help you take control and increase productivity:
The most suitable technique is to have certain hours reserved to check emails during the day. In a business operating structure, it is enough to schedule 2-4 times a day for email processing. Some managers prefer to spend the first few minutes of each hour managing email because they are asked for answers more often, requiring almost immediate feedback, especially because some of the subjects are critical.
It is very important that you divide the emails by importance. For example, advertising messages that seem relevant to us should be saved and only processed once a week.
Turn off notifications
Unless self-control is extraordinary, it is best to turn off email notifications. Tasks are often interrupted by low importance emails. It is imperative not to lose focus.
Stay in control
The greatest difficulty is to ensure that we are only exposed to relevant information so that we do not lose productivity with excessive and unnecessary information. Whenever matters require some kind of follow-up or deeper treatment, we should follow through the agenda or the project/task management software. It is easier to follow up on issues when we have all the processes properly catalogued.
The SPAM filter should be evaluated on 2 levels (server and client). That is, the email server must have a filter that will delete/reject all messages that have malicious files attached or that are sent by senders properly catalogued as Spammers. On the other hand, we should always have a good SPAM filter in the program we use to manage email (email client), mainly because we can consult those emails that we never received. However, it is always advisable to consult the SPAM box once in a while so that you do not lose that potential client that is on a blacklist (catalogued as Spammer).
Newsletters always make a big dent in your inbox. For this reason, it is important that you cancel subscriptions of those you do not have time to consult or catalogue as SPAM those that are unwanted.
Rules and Filters
The email client must always be properly configured and the rules must be related to folders/ categories/labels. We all get those newsletters that we leave unread so we can check it out one day. For this reason, it is important that you create a folder for newsletters and a rule so that they are archived directly in that folder. This method will allow you to have a clean inbox and catalogue emails by subject and for further processing. This is an excellent method for anyone planning to process newsletters on Monday morning, for example.
Emails should be addressed immediately through one of three possible paths:
- Answer – Be objective. Emails should be answered immediately to provide feedback on the subject and avoid unnecessary phone calls, or to request more detailed information on the subject in question, but avoiding the unproductiveness of the ping-pong effect. In cases in which the response requires some preparation, a reply should be given indicating a forecast to send the response;
- Delegate – Emails should be promptly delegated to the right people to streamline the business structure. When we need some kind of feedback to know if the process is finished, we should schedule a reminder for later in the agenda or launch a task in the project manager;
- Delete – Emails that do not have any importance should be deleted.
Responses given from a mobile device should be given informally. This is a good way to justify responses that contain some inaccuracy or an involuntary emotional load.
We work at a frantic speed and that leads us to extreme states of anxiety. Properly email management has taken over as the way to deal with our anxiety and the people with whom we interact professionally. Taking control of communication is gaining time, increasing focus, and increasing productivity.