Hi everyone, this week we are talking about taking control of your email. I have collected a lot of email tips over the years, so here are six of my favorites and I hope some of them make a difference for you.
Number one: Turn message notifications OFF. Any notifications that ding or pop up are a huge distraction and can kill your productivity. So be sure to turn notifications off.
Number two:Delete or Archive. If you think you might ever want to see an email again, Archive it. If not, Delete it. Most smartphones have settings you can customize so that you swipe one direction to delete and the other to archive. This is so much faster than trying to decide which folder you should file something in. When you want to find an archived message, just search for it!
Number three: Check your email at set times during the day. If you feel like you are constantly interrupted by the need to respond to email, please give this strategy a try. Unless you are in the middle of a collaborative project with questions and answers flying back and forth, there is really no reason to check email more than 3 or 4 times a day. This puts you in back in control of your time.
Number four: If it will take less than 3 minutes to respond, do it now! This is one of the best productivity tips I know! If you need more time to formulate a response, then send back a quick note saying “I will look into this and get back to you later.” A prompt brief reply frees you up to put it on the back burner until you have time to deal with it and it is always better than waiting too long to respond and having to start an email with “Sorry it took me so long to get back you…”
Number five: Learn how to use the Edit Subject Line feature - many times the subject matter of an email changes as the conversation goes back and forth.
When this happens, make life easier on everyone by changing the subject line before you reply. For example, what was once a thank you email to a committee may now be a specific conversation about signing up to work at an event - when you reply change the subject line from “Great Job” to “Event Sign Up” - everyone's inbox will thank you.
Number six: Live by the Empty Inbox Rule - each time you set out to get through your inbox, your goal should be to get your Inbox to Zero. That means everything read, dealt with, starred, archived or deleted.
I hope you’ll give some of these tips a try and take control of your email. To view the video of this tip on GNAT, click here.