There are so many email management tips online and a lot of people have totally different ways of managing their emails. We live in a world that thrives on instant results and that includes our emails. I've heard so many stories about people who either work for themselves or for companies and are expected to respond back to an email as soon as it comes in...even if it is two o'clock in the morning!
These stories are crazy to me and are so far from a healthy work/life balance. I may not be that extreme but I will admit that for a long time I was addicted to my email. I had notifications set up on my phone and desktop computer that would alert me anytime a new email came in. The bad part is that no matter what I was doing I would stop and check out the new email that just came in. While I wouldn't always respond right away I would still pause what I was doing to check it out. Needless to say this really slowed down my productivity because I was constantly starting and stopping.
My goal each day was to keep managing my email and when I got to zero messages in my inbox I would be so stoked. I even sent my husband a screengrab once of my empty inbox because I was so proud! The biggest issue with this though is that it will get full again. It never fails but as soon as I get my email down to zero within a few hours I have 10+ emails in there again so it is a never-ending battle.
My Top Five Email Management Tips
At one point I decided to track the number of our I was spending on my email addiction and on average I spent 3.5 hours a day! That is a lot of time not spent on getting important business goals achieved. Thankfully, I've reformed my email addiction and I want to share a few of my top email management tips with you!
- No more inbox zero - Don't even worry about getting your inbox to zero because it will get filled up again so quickly.
- Turn off notifications - This means no alert noise on your phone, tablet, or computer when a new message comes in. A lot of times checking out our latest new message becomes a habit, so turn of the noise so you're not tempted to interrupt your work.
- Don't respond to emails before noon - This can be hard for me sometimes but, if I can pull it off, it works like a charm for me. I find that I'm most productive in the morning so I carve out 8am- noon every day for my most important work and then check my email after lunch. This guarantees that I get my biggest tasks done each day.
- Update your email signature - At the bottom of your email signature add in a line about when they can expect a response from you. Mine says "I will respond to all emails within 24 hours. If you contact me outside my office hours I will respond to you on the next available business day." This helps set proper email response time expectations and helps you feel like you don't have to answer it instantly.
- Don't add emails on to your to-do list - Answering emails is not a business goal for the day, just something that needs to get done. You should answer emails in order of importance and not in the order they came in.
Hopefully these email management tips can help you feel more in control of your email inbox. I would love to hear if any of these tips helped you and if you have any additional tips as well for managing your emails. Make sure to comment below and share!