V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the creator of email, hears it all the time “I want to kill you.” Who does he hear that from? People who are frustrated with all the emails cluttering their inbox. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger or the creator! Start managing your emails more effectively.
Start with a big thank you to Ayyadurai, a faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the inventor of email. He’s the one responsible for keeping you in touch with countless colleagues and clients.
Albeit, maybe too much, are you getting tons of emails you can’t keep up with?
Here’s three quick tips to help streamline your email process:
- Add event information from an email to your calendar immediately. Don’t let emails with information about events or meetings stagnate in your inbox. This is one of the ways you get overbooked and overwhelmed.
- Turn off notifications – the alarm and pop up window. This can distract you from the task you’re working on. Instead of reacting to the little ‘ding’ you hear as another email arrives, be proactive. Check your emails at certain times of the day for a set period of time. Getting into your inbox every late morning and afternoon for an hour will give you clearer parameters on how you spend your time.
- Schedule time for emails – You’ve got to put in the time and push out responses, file away email and delete. Just take 20 minutes twice a day to keep on top of what is coming in.
- Don’t use email – If the conversation is a back and forth of long emails, get on the phone or set up a meeting. Clearly, the mode of email communication isn’t working. Crafting lengthy emails can take lots of time. Some things are better said in person, especially if confusion and long-winded rambling abound.
You need not resort to frustration. Don’t have ill will for the guy who has saved countless trees by creating email. Use these tools to get your email under control.
If you want to learn more about email management. Join me at SCORE on January 21, 2016 from 1pm-2pm for Life Outside the Inbox: Tools and Techniques for Email Management. This presentation will be held at the SBA District Office/SCORE, 2828 N. Central Ave., Ste. 800, Phoenix 85004. RSVP today!
Margo Brown is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity and works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. In 2006 Margo co-authored the book ‘Exploring Productivity. She serves the Tempe and Phoenix area in Arizona.