We have all been there before – reading and answering emails has become part of the daily routine in offices. Managing emails in a productive manner helps to set aside time to attend to other urgent or more important tasks at hand.
Here are some simple tips on managing emails effectively.
1. Set aside specific periods in the day to check emails. A good example would be to set 3 specific periods such as in the morning, before or after lunch hour and before the end of the business day to check and respond to emails. Some people also choose to read and respond to emails to break the monotony of long periods of focused work or when their creativity and energy levels tend to be lower.
To avoid distractions during busy hours in the day, either set your inbox to only “receive” incoming emails or turn-off audible alerts.
2. Respond to urgent emails immediately. Prioritise addressing only urgent emails from clients, bosses and colleagues at the beginning of the day. Making quick decisions and taking action immediately is a productive way of keeping your inbox in check. Quickly browsing through emails to determine which emails to delete or archived to be looked into later helps you evaluate which emails are the most critical. Avoid letting important emails sit in your inbox for more than 48 hours. If you are on vacation or away from the office set a notification to alert recipients that a timely response would be delayed or alternative individuals who can attend to such emails in your absence.
3. Organise emails in different folders with labels. Maintaining email threads of emails crucial to the business avoids any miscommunication. Sorting out emails into different folders with clear labels is a great way of keeping your inbox in control and makes it easier to locate important emails when the need arises. Making labels of each folder search-friendly and accurate to describe the content of the email is important to locate emails. Edit the subject line or labels before it’s categorised and archived.
4. Unsubscribe from promotional emails or use non-essential emails. Do away with promotional emails or newsletters which can clutter your email. Unsubscribe from specific senders which you don’t want to receive or don’t have time to read.