Email | Dodging the electronic deluge

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5 Ways to Manage E-mail Effectively and Save Time

E-mail is becoming more of a productivity pirate than a productivity booster because people don’t know how to manage it properly. Email is now considered to be the number one communication tool at work and the number of e-mail messages being exchanged is multiplying rapidly as Internet connectivity increases both at work and at home. People deal with averages of between 40 – 200 e-mail messages a day and the number of worldwide e-mail messages sent on an average day has grown into the billions.

Research shows that 65 per cent of e-mails require a response. The remaining 35 per cent of daily e-mails are a combination of workplace spam, spurious messages largely originating from within the organization that should not have been sent in the first place. As we receive more and more e-mail messages, it can feel like being hit by a digital deluge and without the skills to manage e-mail effectively, many people are wasting time just trying to keep up instead of gaining productivity through technology.

Here are FIVE TACTICS for effective e-mail management:

1. Turn off the alarm or visual message
You wouldn’t let the mail carrier empty a mailbag on your desk 10 times a day and you certainly wouldn’t let them ring a bell with each delivery. But that’s exactly what you are doing if you check each e-mail when it arrives. Turn off the alarm or visual message and take control of your e-mail and your time.

2. Treat e-mail like regular mail
Try to check your e-mail at regular times in the day, i.e. early morning, mid-day and late afternoon. Even if you receive a high volume of e-mails, you shouldn’t check more than four times a day—and throw out the junk or respond immediately to those that require your attention.

3. Use Links where appropriate
Within your workplace it may be quicker and easier to send links to documents rather than attaching copies of them, particularly if they are large or going to a lot of people.

4. Delete diligently and use electronic folders
Most people save too many e-mails. Delete messages as soon as you respond to them. If you have to save something, transfer it to an electronic folder.

5. Use caution
Sometimes it’s too easy to hit the “Send” button and before you know it, you’ve sent words you will regret. In the end, it will take more time to do damage control than to let your emotions cool down before sending a message. Sarcasm or other attempts at humor can be misinterpreted. Any e-mail you send could be forwarded and your message could go public. E-mail can save businesses considerable time and money, But managing e-mail is a skill that’s just as important to acquire as other essential management skills such as communication, planning and prioritizing.

 Paul Pondering

For More ideas on managing your email and getting better results for your tools contact priority Management


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