Become Master Of Your Inbox

We’re all guilty of it- relying too heavily on email. Although it may be a tool few can live without, it has become the bane of many professionals’ existence. Because it is so much a part of modern business, we forget the other forms of communication and run into email-overload.

Why do professionals get to the point of email-overload?   Too much, too long, too pointless.  Inboxes are overwhelmed with an abundance of emails which ends up frustrating people more than helping businesses communicate.  But there is a solution.  Below are three easy steps to help you get out of email-overload and reconnect with email the tool, instead of email the problem.

Mark as Unread

Marking an email as unread is a surprising time saving device.  It allows you to quickly glance through your inbox, respond to time sensitive matters, delete irrelevant emails and then mark those items that can wait as unread.  Mark as unread is a proactive measure to ensure that email doesn’t ‘slip through the cracks’–or in email parlance ‘fall below the fold of the screen’.  As a side benefit, unread emails become the daily to-do list.

The goal is to mark as few items unread as possible, with “none unread” being perfection.  Give yourself the evening to finish unread emails, but allow for the early morning to be completely done.

The Phone

As anachronistic as it may sound, Alexander Graham Bell’s solution for distance communications remains one of the fastest, and best, ways to get your ideas across and get feedback.  Clearly, one has to balance complexity and speed.  A very complex issue may benefit from writing it out.  A short quick issue will benefit from the speed of a phone call.

Considering which option is more optimal will go a long way in making good choices on phone verses email.

Internal Overkill

Try reviewing all of the emails you sent last week. How many of those messages were with an employee within your company? If it was a large number, you’re not alone. We have adopted this habit of hiding behind our computer rather than using old tendencies. While it seems easier to just send a “quick” email, it is better to get out of your chair and walk over to your colleague.  Not only does it allow for face time with your staff but it also can increase the effectiveness of group projects.

The math is simple. The less you email the less email you will receive. Email promised to move business forward at a rapid rate, and it has, but with it has come the old problem of too much too soon. Take these simple measures to help alleviate the email maelstrom and, again, become master of your inbox.

By Miriam Wolf, Executive Marketing Coordinator

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