For many people these days, email = work. If you’re not effective with your email, you might as well not even bother coming to work. So let’s take a closer look at this topic today, and try to make ourselves a bit more productive with our emails.
Below are the 10 effective ways to do it.
1. Touch every email just once
It’s very common for us to naturally mark an important email with a star, and tell ourselves that we’ll come back to it later. Then, later comes and we repeat the process again, thinking, “I’ll deal with this tomorrow.”
In a nutshell, process each email the first time you “touch” it. This means either responding to that email right away or creating a separate task for it somewhere else. That way, your inbox remains clear.
Even though I might have said that “email is work” at the beginning of this post, it’s actually rarely the case.
A simple solution is to just deal with email twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the afternoon.
And most importantly, disable all email notifications. Notifications cause interruptions. Those interruptions are more costly than you would expect. For example, as explained in this resource by Harvard Business Review
“According to a University of California-Irvine study, regaining our initial momentum following an interruption can take, on average, upwards of 20 minutes”.
- Identify common scenarios and types of email that you send out the most often.
- Create template responses for them.
We tend to wrongly assume that our “ask” needs a sufficient built-up, or otherwise the person we’re contacting will say no. But as it turns out, people naturally omit the build-up part anyway and go straight to the “meat” of the message.
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