In our previous blog, we talked about effective email communication which parlays into this blog, “Managing Your Inbox.” If you haven’t read the first blog, click here.
Managing your inbox can be an overwhelming task. Set up folders and rules and then check those folders once a day. These would be important emails but not urgent — such as news updates, associations, other e-newsletters, etc.. You should limit the number of times you check your inbox. Turn off all notifications on your desktop and mobile device so when you are working on something important, you don’t have email distracting you. If something is that urgent, the person will come by your office, call you, or text you.
There are three steps to managing your inbox:
Utilize the “Delayed Delivery” feature! One of my mentors, Melissa, introduced this function to me. This was the best thing EVER! Let’s face it, no one really wants to be working after hours, even though most of us do. So I use this if I need to respond to emails outside working hours. You can write and send the email, but then select when you actually want the email delivered. For example, if you’re writing an email at 8pm at night, but want it to go out at 9am the next morning, you can set it up to be delivered at that time. (The only caveat is that you must have your Inbox open for the email to be sent.) I also don’t want people thinking just because I work outside normal business hours that I expect them to also. It’s respectful. If it’s something urgent, then I will call or text the person.
Believe it or not, the more emails YOU send, the more emails you receive. Try sending less email. If you can pick up the phone or walk down the hall to get an answer more quickly, do it. It will save time and energy on your part. If you have a meeting with this person or group of people, then you can also communicate the message at the meeting, again saving yourself time.
The last blog of this series shares tips and tricks to effective email communication.