Email is undoubtedly one of the best and one of the most distracting inventions to impact our modern working world. There is no end to the list of benefits that email has brought to our modern age, but as many of us know, email can also be very distracting. There is nothing as frustrating as finding yourself “in the zone” at work, only to be distracted by an incoming email. You stop, check the message, reply, and then all of a sudden you are focused on your inbox where you have dozens and dozens of emails to reply to. People may ask you the same questions over and over again in individual emails or assign you tasks in different messages. Suddenly you have wasted 20 minutes just responding to messages that weren’t that important, when you could have been getting work done.
If this sounds like the type of thing that happens to you, then there are a few tips that you can consider In order to improve your email productivity, so you can spend time responding to emails, and more time being productive.
Only Use the “Reply to All” Feature When Necessary
When there is a group email chain, it can be easy to always “reply all” to everyone that is on the message. However, you should only be doing this if it is absolutely necessary. Only send emails to people who absolutely need to read them. This will prevent you from getting more responses or questions than you have time to answer and it is also being courteous to others. Chances are you don’t like your inbox getting filled up with email chains that have nothing to do with you, and others probably don’t either.
Assign Tasks that Are Outlined in the Email
Assigning tasks and giving people bullet points of things to do as outlined in an email is a great way to make sure that people aren’t asking you a million questions about what they need to get done. This helps keep people organized as many won’t read through an entire lengthy email anyways, or they may forget some of the tasks you gave them while reading through your descriptions. Taking the extra time to assign tasks that are outlined in the email is actually a huge time saver for you and will keep questions to a minimum.
Put Frequently Asked Info in Your Signature
There are so many people who spend most of their time responding to emails while answering the same questions over and over again. A great way to prevent this from taking up your time is to put frequently asked information down in your email signature. This can include information such as your phone number, fax number, business address or company website. You will be surprised by the number of emails you can cut back on by simply adding this information to the bottom of an email.
Keep these easy tips in mind whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by how much time email is taking up in your day. These simple tips can help make you more productive whenever you send and receive emails, so you can dedicate your time to more important tasks at hand.