Emails can be incredibly time consuming in our everyday life, especially if you are trying to run your own business. Not only that, but they are incredibly distracting, taking away your time and focus from more important tasks. To help manage your time more efficiently, reduce stress, and increase productivity, here are five great tips to help you spend less time checking and sending emails:
1- Set up a spam filter
Enabling your email’s spam filter seems basic, but it is forgotten surprisingly often. This is a very quick and simple process (for most emails it just requires you to click a tick box) but it will make an immense difference to the amount of irrelevant emails your are bombarded with on a daily basis.
Another important change is to turn off your email notifications from any of your social media accounts. At the rate social media is used today, your email box will be constantly spammed if you don’t turn these notifications off. You can check your social media messages and posts on your own time without being unnecessarily stressed about it though emails. Similarly, spend the time to unsubscribe from any email services or newsletters that you do not use and are not interested in. Unroll.me is a great tool to help you do this.
Bonus Tip: If you enjoy reading newletters and similar emails, set up a separate email account that you use for all online purchases and subscriptions. This way you don’t have to constantly keep unsubscribing and you can check it every once in a while without being stressed by 20 daily emails.
2- Write succinct emails
Keep your emails short and to the point. Don’t spend unnecessary time that you don’t have dillydallying around. Answer any questions and supply the required information, and do it right the first time, that way you aren’t caught up in a long back-and-forth clarifying the situation.
If you are working with people in other locations you can use a messaging service like Skype to ask colleagues quick questions without filing up your inbox. Similarly you can use project management tools like Asana or Trello to manage projects across employees or teams. These platforms allow users to assign tasks to different people and check-off completed jobs. This further reduces the amount of emails you have to send checking up on work to be completed and allows you to have a clear overview of any projects you are working on.
3- Create templates
If you get a lot of similar emails, especially from customers, create standardised templates which allow you to easily and quickly respond with minimal effort. This is a huge time saver and will really make a noticeable impact on the amount of time you spend responding to these type of daily emails.
Bonus Tip: If you are constantly asked the same questions from customers and prospective clients it can also be worth creating an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your website.
4- Check emails less often
It is very tempting to check your emails every 10 minutes, especially if you have just launched your business or are waiting for a deal to come through. However, getting into this habit is not only incredibly time consuming but will also shorten your attention span, not to mention drive you mad!
To help manage this, turn off your email push notifications. This will stop you getting a notification every time you receive a new email. Of course it is important to check your emails regularly but it’s better to check it when you have time in your schedule instead of being interrupted every five minutes. Therefore, open your email applications when you have some down time and manually refresh the page to check for emails. This allows you to use your time more effectively and focus on the task at hand. If your schedule is too hectic, you can even schedule email time into your day: first thing in the morning, after lunch, and just before going home for example.
5- Delete unwanted emails
Lastly, delete any emails which you no longer want or need. Keeping your inbox full of only important and relevant emails saves you a lot of time searching through hundreds of emails to find the one you need. Be vigilant about this – the more you stay on top of this, the less time you waste on emails.
These tips might seem small, but the results can make a noticeable impact on your everyday life so why not give it a try!