So much of our time at work can solely be attributed to emails. Reading them, sending them, forwarding them, deleting them. Just the thought of the inbox alone can be very overwhelming. I know that there are several times when I can feel like much of my time is being spent on managing my email. During my time at bloom, I’ve learned so much about planning and prioritizing and I finally learned how to balance my emails and other tasks. I came up with 5 tips to help you minimize your emails!
I hope these tips help you tackle your overflowing inbox and win your precious time back.
1. Check your inbox less
Constantly switching from one task to another requires you to completely realign your thought process from the task on hand to your “email mode” and back. This will drain your energy and make you lose your focus or flow on a more important assignment. Rather than risk reducing your performance on those significant responsibilities by refreshing your inbox every few minutes, try to set two or three specific times in the day when you go through your emails. By minimizing the number of times you check your email, you save time in between tasks and your mental energy.
2. Prioritize your emails
Rather than sitting and responding to every email, try to figure out which ones are most important and focus on those. Mark them as important, label them as urgent, or star/flag the most pressing matters so that you know which emails are your priority. Trying to weigh each message as the same level of importance will ultimately cause you to lose focus and time to pay attention to the most urgent tasks.
3. Respond on your own time
Not every email requires a reply right away. Most emails do not even require a response, and if they do, they usually are not time sensitive. We are inclined to respond to every message as soon as possible, but by cutting this habit and leaving important emails that do not warrant a reply immediately as unread will allow you to quickly find it when it is needed.
4. Create templates
There are plenty of options to create templates or pre-made messages so that you can spend less time constructing a new response to every email. If you create a template with enough detailed information, you can drastically cut down on time spent worrying about how to word a message and making sure you include all the crucial points of information. Then, when you respond to a message, you already have the skeleton written and you can include what is truly necessary to communicate. You can do the same for your signature and automated messages.
5. Send fewer emails
This one may sound silly but if you send fewer emails, you will receive fewer emails. Avoid CC, BCC, or indicating that a response is necessary to your emails unless you absolutely need to. Also, be straightforward and make your messages short and direct. Save yourself time by writing shorter emails, but also save others by not making them sit and read an unnecessarily long email. Make sure your email subjects are specific enough when doing this, though, so that your recipient knows what the message body is about.
Work can be super busy and emails may make it seem even busier, but I hope these tips help to reduce your stress and the clutter in your inbox!