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7 Ways To Better Manage Your Email

EmailIn this day and age, email has become a necessity for business and it would seem, personal purposes. However, it has also become one of, if not the biggest, time killers of all time. A while ago I featured a post called How To Increase Productivity Instantly and in the number 2 spot I suggested only checking your emails twice a day, never first thing, say an hour before lunch and an hour before the end of your working day. The rest of the time your email client is closed. I came across this a few years ago when i read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Work Week. A lot of emails we read and reply to don’t really require our time and affect our productivity in a big way. Plus, if you respond quickly to people, it’s almost as if you’re on a leash, at their beck and call so to speak – they need your attention, you reply quickly. Having your email client open all day long is opening yourself up to distractions from the minute you sit down at your desk. Having said that, there are 7 ways to better manage your email within those times, which you should find useful from Inc.com:

7 Ways To Better Manage Email

1. Get rid of the junk. Of my average 400 emails per day, easily a third are spam. The rest are important messages I want to address in some manner. I hate spam filters because inevitably the critical email I needed gets stuck and that can mean lost money or opportunities. So I use the “Junk” file to capture most spam and scan it quickly twice a day. When the spam gets high, I make a point of unsubscribing for a week or so. Believe it or not this actually does reduce the junk by about 30 percent.

2. Set up smart folders. About 25 percent of my emails are some sort of advertising or less important notifications to which I stay subscribed. I call it Sale Mail. We all get forwarded these jokes, special offers from stores, group discounts and newsletters. These clog and clutter, and are a distraction when your mail alert chimes. In less than 10 minutes you can tell your email program to automatically move them into a specific smart folder. Then you can limit your perusal of that folder to once a day or at your leisure.

Continue reading on Inc.com

Another reason I quite like the idea of only allocating a maximum of 2 hours a day to email as that it immediately gets you to prioritise and address the most important ones. When under pressure it’s often the case that with an email you’d tend to procrastinate about, you’ll get done in no time whatsoever so you can cross that one off your to-do list. Also, when you set up an autoresponder that says I only check my emails between 11am and 12pm and 4pm and 5pm and that at all other times you’re not available, the chances are that whoever is trying to contact you, will go figure it out for themselves! Email has put most people into reactive mode rather than proactive mode – what do you think?

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