Image courtesy of respres
Most of us spend around 8 hours at work but most of that time are spent on tasks that are of insignificant value. One of the time wasters that we may indulge in may be handling our emails.
Handling our emails can really cause us to lose many valuable hours, especially if you are receiving around a hundred or more emails per day. If you do not try to minimize the time wasted on handling email, you can easily find that a huge chunk of your time are wasted on it.
So here are some ways that works for me to help me tackle the email monster.
1. Check your email less frequently.
I used to check my emails every now and then and it affects my productivity level because constantly handling my inbox takes away too much of my time and effort.
The first step I took to tackle the email monster is to check my inbox less frequently. I currently check my inbox around thrice a day(morning,afternoon and evening) and that helps me to save up my time and energy so that I can use them on things that are more important.
I only spend around 2 minutes scanning it in the morning for things that need my immediate attention. In the afternoon and evening, I will clear up my inbox and attend to other emails that do not need my immediate attention.
2. Unsubscribe from email newsletter.
One sure fire way to clutter up your inbox is to subscribe to all the newsletter you can find. Too much of these newsletter in your inbox will cause you to freak up every morning when you check your email.
I used to be an information junkie and tried to get my hands on every newsletter on blogging and personal development. It seems nice at first when I receive information from experts in these fields but it isn’t fun anymore when I have to clear up 50 – 100 emails every morning. I also find that I do not read most of the newsletter anyway so I unsubscribe to most of the newsletter.
If you are suffering from “newslettter overloading” too, it is time to do something about it. Stay subscribed to only newsletter that you are really interested in. You may feel that every newsletter you had subscribed to are important. However that isn’t really true. Find out what newsletter you are not reading already and you are only deleting them from your inbox the moment they reached it. Those will be the first on the line to be unsubscribed from.
3. Don’t leave things hanging.
If you do not process your email inbox right away every time (thrice daily) you check it, you will accumulate a huge backlog of emails. Whenever you check your emails, clear up on your inbox and you will not clutter it up. Cluttering your inbox means that you will need to spend more time and energy to clear it up. It may also tend to stress you up when you see the huge amount of backlog you have to clear.
Reply to those emails that need your attention immediately and keep emails that you want to read leisurely in other folders.
Make it a habit of clearing up your inbox everytime you check it. Process on the spot. It makes you feel good when you see that you had cleared up everything in your inbox and nothing is left hanging.
4. Chain mails or jokes.
Chain mails are considered spam and too much jokes or funny emails in your inbox are considered as spam too. Cut down on these emails by telling your friend not to send it to you anymore.
If you really do feel that you need the jokes in the email to entertain yourself, keep them in a separate folder. Read them as a reward when you had done productive work. These are the types of emails that you do not need to process immediately.
5. Set up template
If you are receiving the same queries every now and then. Consider setting up a template or FAQ to protect your time. It can really be a chore trying to dish out the same reply every now and then. Keep a template or FAQ so that whenever you receive an email with a question to people asked you frequently, direct them to the FAQ or reply with the template.
It may means that you lose some personal touch with a template but if you receive too much emails with the same queries, it may be wiser that you keep a template or FAQ instead of trying to type out the same replies every time.
6. Turn off website notification
You really don’t need to know immediately that people had sent you a message on Facebook. Turn off notifications from websites such as rel=”nofollow”>Twitter, Facebook or any other social mediate sites. These are huge time wasters and it makes thing worst when you are tempted to check out your Facebook after receiving a notification. Now you have 2 inbox to check!
7. Consolidate your inbox
It takes much more effort to maintain multiple inbox compared to one. If you have multiple email accounts, use the forwarding function you can find in your account and forward all the email to one account. This will allow you to check all your email in a single place.
I used to use Hotmail but they do not have the forwarding function (Ok, they do have but they only allow forwards Hotmail accounts). I had now swtiched to Gmail and had other email accounts set to forward all emails to this single account. This allow me to check everything in a single place which is much more convenient.
I would love to know the how you tackle the email monster. I look forward to your replies in the comment section.