Email…is it gobbling your time?
“You’ve Got Mail!” How many of you remember hearing Elwood Edwards voice and being thrilled to click and read what was inside?
Now in 2017, there are many days we dread opening our email to see the lengthy list of messages from various people.
In the past two weeks, I’ve had several clients ask for support to help them ease the sense of overwhelm they feel regarding email. I can hear the anxiety in their voice as they asked for help.
How about you? What are you feeling about your inbox?
I thought I would share a few tips I’ve used to help me take back ownership of my time and release the death grip of email.
- Select times of the day to work on email. For me, it’s early morning, mid-day check in and end of day clean up. Depending on what you do, you may choose to have more or less check-in times and the time of day you choose may vary. The point is not to be involved in email all day. By closing email, it allows you to be present and focus on the main part of your work.
- Set a time limit for how long to engage in the activity of email, 15, 30, 60 minutes for each check-in session. You will find the time that works best and it will decrease over time as you “clean” out your current inbox.
- Use the timer on your phone to help honor the time limit and when it rings off, wrap up the email you’re working on and close out until the next check-in time.
- Keep your inbox a working space containing items in need of a reply.
- If you can read and reply to an email in a couple of minutes, do it now and be done with it.
- If an email requires more time to respond, flag it and add it to your to-do-list and calendar. This allows you to decide when to reply by.
- Emails you want to save for reference, send them to your archive.
- Unsubscribe to distribution lists that you joined and no longer access for information. Have no fear…you can always sign up again if you find you need the information they are sharing.
- For the lists you want to continue to receive, create “rules” that will send them directly into a folder. This will allow you the opportunity to read at your leisure.
If you are on team, have a conversation about creative ways to decrease the number of emails sent to each other. For example, instead of sending multiple emails to the same person during the day, is there a way to create one email with several questions in it?
Ask yourself, is email the most effective way to communicate my question or my response? If not, use another mode of communication – phone, face-to-face either in person or virtually or during a regular meeting.
I hope this will help you find more ease in managing your inbox. Let me know how it goes and if you’d like to chat about other ways to find more space in your life for joy, click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me today.