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9 Email Productivity Secrets That Will Get Your Life Back

Turn off email notifications

Interrupting a task with notifications leads to a loss of concentration and a decline in productivity levels.

Feel free to set up an autoresponder re-directing all urgent matters to your phone.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

9 Email Productivity Secrets That Will Get Your Life Back

9 Email Productivity Secrets That Will Get Your Life Back

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/02/05/9-email-productivity-secrets-that-will-get-your-life-back/

forbes.com

8

Key Ideas

Organize your emails

Create the following 2 folders:

  • Require Action besides simply responding.
  • Require Response. File emails here that you are unable to respond to immediately.

All other emails, once read, should go directly to their appropriate permanent files using rules.

Unsubscribe

Unsubscribe from every list that doesn’t offer solid value for your business.

Turn off email notifications

Interrupting a task with notifications leads to a loss of concentration and a decline in productivity levels.

Feel free to set up an autoresponder re-directing all urgent matters to your phone.

Keep your responses short

  • What’s the main point of your email? 
  • What action do you want the recipient to take? 
  • What critical facts do you need to get across in your email?

Give yourself a limit to the length of your response and stick to it. 

Use email rules

Rules are automatic actions your email software will take depending on what guidelines you’ve set up.

Set a time

Choose a couple of times during the day when you’ll deal with your email. 

Empty your inbox

Make sure you bring your inbox count down to zero so you can start fresh the next morning.

Any messages that still need to be dealt with should be either moved or responded to.

Email signatures

Create email signatures ready to go to save time and annoyance when you’re composing or responding to emails.

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Ignore your inbox when you wake up

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Empty your inbox daily
  • Do. If the email is actionable and takes under two minutes, then do the task ASAP.
  • Delegate. Forward the right tasks to the right people.
  • Defer. Reply to the message at a better time.
  • Delete emails that are not important or that you can delegate. 
  • File. Add messages that contain information you will need to your archives.
Stop CC’ing everyone

To avoid filling the email box of staff members, only CC the relevant parties. Ask your team to respond to you individually instead of using the reply-to-all button.

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Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. D...

Create an Email Productivity System

There’s no “definitive” system. The best framework is the one that works for you. Ideally, it should model your work style, supporting the way you work. Bonus points if it’s low-maintenance, fast to set up, and adaptable as your work changes.

Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

Power Up Your Email with Plugins

Some examples:

  • Undo Send: for when you accidentally press the send button.
  • Canned Responses: create a template that you can reuse with canned responses.
  • Send and Archive: Automatically archive an email after replying to it using the send and archive button.

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Checking Email
Check email only at set points during the day. 
  • you may decide that you'll only check your email before lunch, and at the end of the day.
  • you can also reserve time to re...
Checking your email regularly...

... during the day can be an effective way to keep your inbox at manageable levels.

However, the constant interruption and distraction that comes from it can dramatically lower your productivity, and disrupt your ability to enter a state of flow when working on high value projects.

Reading Email
  • Try using the "Two-Minute Rule" when you read your mail: if the email will take less than two minutes to read and reply to, then take care of it right now, even if it's not a high priority.
  • For emails that will take longer than two minutes to read or respond to, schedule time on your calendar, or add this as an action on your To-Do List , to do later. 

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Tips For Efficient Email Management
  • Unsubscribe from or filter away the stuff you never read.
  • Disable email push notifications on your phone.
  • Check emails twice ...
Quote the sender's email in chunks
  • Only use enough quotations to establish the context.
  • Your reply should come below it.
  • When possible, cut and reformat the quoted text.
  • Get tasks out of your email and into a task manager.
Determine What The Sender Needs From You Asap

Ask yourself:

  • What’s the meaning and the value of the message?
  • What action does this message require of me?

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Email and productivity
Email is an extremely useful communication tool.  But when used inappropriately, email can hinder productivity.

More than one-quarter of a worker's day on average is spent answ...

Set aside time

... to read and respond to email. Don’t leave your email program open all day long. Alerts from incoming messages can interrupt your work flow. Instead, schedule specific blocks of time throughout the day for checking your email. 

You might even try marking your calendar and setting your availability to “busy.” If necessary, turn off your cellphone and shut your office door to prevent interruptions.

Take action immediately
  • browse the inbox for emails that can be immediately deleted (spam or promotional emails). Then select messages that don’t require a response and delete or archive them. 
  • Don’t let important emails sit in your inbox for days. Unless you’re on vacation, respond within 48 hours. Reply to the sender as soon as you’ve read his or her message.
  • If you’re unable to respond immediately, communicate to the sender that you received the message and will be in touch shortly. Set a deadline and follow up.

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Get Out of Your Inbox and Get to Work
Rather than checking your inbox for the 57th time today, check your to-do list and determine what you should be doing.

Your email is distractions and other people’s priorities. Your to-d...

7 Tips to Help You Get Out of Your Inbox:
  1. Instead of checking your email endlessly, limit the number of times you check your inbox. 
  2. Get things out of your email and onto your to-do list: If an email requires action beyond a response, then add that task to your to-do list where it belongs.
  3. Don’t read email, act on it: File, respond, or delete. Otherwise, you are just compounding the mess in your inbox for later.
  4. Close your email program.
  5. Keep your emails short and to the point. As well, ensure your “ask” is in the first line.
  6. Turn off the notifications: They interrupt your day and encourage you to stop your work to check your inbox.
  7. Don’t check email on your mobile device: If you are using your phone for communication, utilize more immediate forms of communication such as Slack, iMessage, and more. 
Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

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Cluttered digital lives
Cluttered digital lives

If people's physical lives were anywhere near as cluttered as their digital lives, their kitchen sinks would be full of dishes, their closets would be jammed, and their houses would be in chaos.

Become a Digital Minimalist

We can reclaim our time and our attention. Unlike a physical space, we can wipe the slate clean in our digital environment.

If you clear apps from your phone, nothing will happen. You can always reinstall the ones you use.

Digital Declutter
  • Clear your browser history.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and anything else you consume.
  • Delete all the apps that are currently on your phone and desktop or laptop (as long as you don’t have to buy a new version of anything).

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Turn Off Notifications

Email tends to come in all the time and can create distractions and disruptions to your schedule. 

Turn off new message notifications on both your computer and sma...

How to Use Your Inbox

There are many different philosophies when it comes to managing your email inbox. 

You can use your inbox as a catchall, limit it to only high-priority messages, or make it a working task list. Choose one purpose for your inbox and stick with it.

Make lists of safe addresses

Create an email whitelist to ensure those messages get through, and a blacklist for what you consider spam addresses.

Update these lists frequently to keep your incoming email clean.

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