Are you drowning under a barrage of emails?
Have you forgotten what it is like to have some fun?!
Over the last few weeks, I have adopted some simple but smart ways of handling emails. Most of it is common sense, but all of us nowadays have to be come more discerning with what we read and what we allow to come into our lives. I have talked about clutter clearing before, and being on top of your emails is a big part of keeping your space and energy as clear as possible.
Apparently on average, people who work in offices get around 70 to 80 emails per day without even counting spam. Problems range from too many emails, finding stored emails, tracking important ones, keeping old emails, being distracted as new emails come in and keeping on top of replies.
Here are my tips on how to get back on top of your emails.
1. Firstly cut down on emails received by sending out fewer ones. The more emails you send out the more you get back! So cut down on the number you send out – copy only if necessary. Ask what value you are adding before each email. Is it even necessary to send out an email?
2. Keep a lower profile and keep away from discussion groups unless you must be part of one.
3. Unsubscribe from newsletters, unless you are going to read them. Easier to delete rather than unsubscribing – so do unsubscribe.
One of the few daily newsletters I subscribe to is Totally Unique Thoughts – I religiously read this daily inspirational email first thing in the morning.
4. Pick up the phone and call someone – it might be quicker and easier to get your message across
5. Spend some time learning some of the features of Outlook, which is the email programme I use. You can set it up to filter and pre sort your emails.
This doesn’t cut down on the volume but makes it easier to go through the inbox. You can set up rules to segregate incoming emails into folders, flag up for attention, play tunes, change colours for different senders, etc.
6. Avoid cherry picking your emails! Do not just deal with selected emails. For example, dealing with only 2 out of every 5 emails will create a backlog very rapidly.
7. Check your emails only 3 or 4 times a day at specific times in the day. Then deal with ALL emails in that slot. Not necessarily replying to them all but filing, cross-referencing, deleting.
8. Clear the in-tray during each time you check your emails. Delete everything that can be deleted straight off and reply to those that can be replied quickly.
9. Schedule time later on for dealing with those emails that require more thought and time.
10. Deal with Spam by using a decent spam filter that will automatically filter it into a separate email folder. I use an online spam filter programme called “Spam Arrest” – this is a paid for service and has eliminated my spam email by almost 100% within 2 days. It took me less than an hour to set up and now saves me at least 15 minutes a day not having to deal with junk email.
The odd spam email still gets through, so I now have all incoming mail filtered by Outlook. If the sender is not on my recognised list of approved senders, the email automatically goes into my junk folder.
I then quickly scan the junk folder for any legitimate email and add the sender’s name to the approved list for future incoming emails.
Reducing the amount of time you spend on emails and at your computer is all part of working smart and improving the quality of your life.
Wouldn’t you prefer to be out and about having fun, rather than dealing with emails?
Please do share your own email handling tips.