4 Email Productivity Tips

By | February 1, 2016
Email is a major time sink.  We're talking multiple hours per day for
many busy individuals, and as much as half their workdays can be spent
on email for those among us with high rates of communication with
clients, contacts, and colleagues.

What's worse, people often feel like they're being way more productive
than they actually are as well when they're working out of their
inboxes.  Sure, you might be wheeling and dealing on your keyboard, but
the effective hours of solid work achieved when constantly checking
email starts to get diminished quickly.

And even still worse than that is the fact that it's a necessity. 
Regardless of where you are or what you do, email is a near universally
expected communication tool and those you work with will expect you to
consistently check and respond to any incoming messages.

So, how can you make your email time more productive and stop it from
leaking into your day?  Here are a few tips for getting started:

1)  Because email is not a live messenger (though some people use it
like one!), it is OK if responses are generally put off a few hours. 
For this reason, email productivity experts often recommend that you set
3 times throughout the day to check your email, and then stick to those
times, never checking in between.

2)  During your designated email check-in times, respond to every
message you've received, right when you read it.  Often, we read
something, think "that's going to take a bit to fully address!", and
then mentally note that we'll get back to it later when we have more
time.  However, this forces you to read such emails twice instead of one
time, and the procrastinating generally serves no helpful purpose.  When
you read an email, decide if it requires a response.  If the answer is
yes, write it then, on the spot.

3)  Use shortcuts.  Many email productivity add-ons (Boomerang is a
popular one right now, by the way), allow you to setup shortcuts that
will automatically fill in words or sentences when you begin typing a
certain key sequence.  If you have an opening greeting you always use,
or other information that doesn't make sense to save as a standard email
signature, you can use these shortcuts to save you time.  Got a long
company name you have to type out constantly?  Set a shortcut so that
you can trigger it by just hitting two letters in a row that normally
wouldn't follow each other.  You get the idea.

4)  Turn off push notifications.  Of course, we receive email on much
more than just our PC's these days, and the constant buzzing of a phone
or dinging of an iPad can pull you out of what you're working on and
cause you to lose focus and time, even if you just check your lock
screen to see who or what it was.  Instead, put these items in do not
disturb mode or at least turn off email client notifications when you're
in between your designated email checking times.

Stick to these, and you'll be well on your way to shaving off minutes or
even hours from your workday!
I look forward to your success...
IMKBrown ~

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