Did you know that e-mail is actually considered one of the biggest ways to slow down productivity? That sounds crazy doesn’t it? E-mail is much more effective than sending letters through the postal service. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to optimize their email programs. This means that a lot of time is wasted just sorting, prioritizing and responding to emails. Luckily, here are 7 tips for more efficient email use that can help reduce the time wasted :
Get Comfortable: Take some time to familiarize yourself with your e-mail program. There are tons of buttons and options, and most of us do not know what they are all for. Chances are that you will really appreciate some of the features available.
Arm Yourself With Tools: Utilize tools for labeling and sorting. This is the number one way to help navigate through your emails and keep tabs on everything that needs to be tended to. Set up your email signature, which includes your contact information. When you are out of the office, make sure to set up an auto-reply which lets people know when they should expect a response.
Keep A Clean Inbox: Keep your inbox empty. There are very many ways to organize and store your emails, and if you are using them properly you will be able to keep your inbox empty at all times.
Archive Completed Emails: Do not delete emails. Most email programs have the option to “archive” emails. This should replace the “delete” button. It is important to keep your emails in case you need them in the future. Even small emails should be archived just in case.
Filter your incoming emails: This is very important! Some people choose to sort emails that are sent to a group of people versus emails that are sent just to you. Other people sort emails by department. Find out what will work best for you, and then set up filters. By utilizing filters you will be automating some of the work that you do manually.
Consolidate: If you have several email accounts, you can import all of your accounts and then use them from one interface. By doing this, you do not have to log in individually each time you want to check an inbox. As the emails come in, it indicates which email address it was sent to. When you reply you can choose which email address you are sending the email from.
Log Off: Designate specific times of day when you will tend to your email. It can be very easy for email to distract you from your task at hand. Once you see an email pop in the temptation is there. If you log off of your email completely, then you allow yourself to focus and complete tasks quickly.