No matter where you work, email is a problem. Regardless of how big or small the company and no matter what your job is, there seems to be no escape from the grip of email mania.
So, what’s a girl to do? And how can you make sure you’re not adding to the problem, because it’s not just getting too much email that can be a challenge, responding to all of it can take just as much of your time.
Whether your on the receiving end or the one sending the emails, here are 7 email hacks that will help you get more productive, so you can spend your days getting real work done.
1.Pick up the phone
When it comes to being more productive with email, the number one rule is not to send an email in the first place. No email, not problem, and we can all stay at inbox zero for a second!
If only this was the reality, instead…
An email comes through, you read it and before you realise, you've typed a response and hit send. Or worse still, you need some information before you can get a piece of work finished, so, what do you do? Of course, you type up your questions and hit send. Job done
But then the response comes back. And now you have even more questions. Ten back and forth emails later, you have the answer you were looking for. Ok, maybe ten is an overstatement, but you get the point.
Before you send an email, it’s always worth asking yourself if having a quick conversation would save you and everyone else time. After all,most of us can say a thousand words much faster than we can type them. And this way, you can avoid any misunderstandings and make sure you both know exactly what you’re looking for.
Better still, you’ll build better working relationships by speaking to your colleagues, rather than emailing them.
2. Be Clear with your content
Clearly there are times when only an email will do. If you do have to send an email, make sure you’ll only need to send one, by being as clear as possible with what you’re trying to say or what you’re asking for.
Usually, the less words you can use to explain something the better and if you can organise it using bullet points, then you definitely should. The clearer you make your email communications the less back and forth there’ll be, keeping everybody’s inbox to a minimum.
3. Be clear with your title
We’ve all seen it, you’re locked in an email conversation and the title just doesn’t mean anything to anyone anymore, at least not at a glance. …RE.RE.FW.RE
Making sure you change email titles to reflect what’s actually written in them will save everyone time, not to mention help keep things organised and easy to find later.
Better yet, if what you have to say can be put into one line, put it in the title and be done with it.
4. Don’t be repetitive
One thing about sending emails is the time it takes to write the things, even the time it takes to think about what to write. Whether it’s a second or a millisecond, it’s time better spent elsewhere.
Save yourself this time by keeping drafts and templates of emails you send on a regular basis.
If you have to do it more than once, it’s worth creating a template for it. This way, you can respond to common queries in a flash, by clicking the least amount of buttons and not having to waste brain power that’s best kept for more challenging tasks like getting to grips with Monday mornings.
The added benefit of this is that you can be consistent and thorough every time.
5. Don’t let your inbox control you
Focus can be hard to keep, and once you lose it, it can take a good 15 minutes to get it back.
For this reason, you should turn off your notifications because each new email that comes through will take you away from whatever you’re trying to do and you’ll find it hard to get back and focus.
You might even end up getting sucked into the email only to realise at the end of the day that you still haven’t completed the one task you actually needed to complete today.
So, do yourself a favour and turn off your notifications. While your at it, set aside some time in the day when you turn OFF your email completely and spend this time getting things done.
The world won’t end if you don’t respond to your emails immediately.