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Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back.

Delay your responses

Only respond to yesterday’s emails -- unless they’re urgent. 

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Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back.

Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330197

entrepreneur.com

8

Key Ideas

Ignore your inbox when you wake up

Responding to emails as soon as you receive a notification gives others the impression that you’re at their beck and call. It also prevents you from reflecting on your own priorities for the day.

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.

Check your email in batches

Batchers, who set aside specific chunks of time to work through their email, are significantly more effective when it comes to getting things done. Research shows that they’re less stressed as well.

Leverage your staff

Have someone screen your messages. They can separate the important messages from the less important. You can hire a virtual assistant to handle this job.

Another option would be to use tools to sort and declutter your inbox so that only important emails come through. 

A new operating model for emails

Create a new operating model for your organization’s emails. This should include:

  • Knowing when to email vs. communicating in other ways. 
  • Embracing other platforms for collaborating and communicating. Use internal messaging services to connect with your team quickly.
  • Ban “reply all.” 
  • Share email productivity tips that you have found successful. 

Fine-tune your email etiquette

  • Have a clear and specific subject line to let the recipient know what the email is about without opening it.
  • Always be a professional. Never write with emotion or overuse exclamation marks.
  • Proofread. Ensure that the message is brief and makes sense to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Include a call-to-action. With a clear direction, they won't have to respond with a series of follow-up questions.
  • Add a signature with your contact information.

Delay your responses

Only respond to yesterday’s emails -- unless they’re urgent. 

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

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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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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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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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