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How to Streamline your Email and Make it Work for You

A common challenge that business owners and their team face is time poverty.

Written by Courtney Farrow

June 2018

Are your email habits eating into your day?

Whilst we can’t invent another hour of the day, nor an additional day of the week, we can certainly help you to claw back some of the moments you already have. Did you know that the average office worker wastes a whopping two-and-a-half-hour a day reading and responding to emails? By combining some nifty IT tricks with some strong willpower, you can streamline your inbox and make it work for you.

Human habits.

We’ve only got ourselves to blame when it comes to our damaging email culture.

Carve out time in your day.

Unfortunately, we live in a fast-paced world where it is expected that we are continuously poised to respond and reply to clients and colleagues.

Whilst it may seem like good customer service to instantly reply to someone, it is a bad habit that, when broken, can seriously increase our productivity.

So, set aside two or three specific times in your day when you allow yourself to answer and deal with emails.

A “quick reply” may seem harmless, but each time you are distracted by an email, you lose valuable time trying to refocus your mind on the important task at hand.

Always be closing.

Who else hates continuous back-and-forth messages?

Try to resolve email threads as quickly as possible by being intentional with your wording. If the matter can be dealt quickly with via a phone call, pick up your handset and get it sorted.

You’ll not only be doing yourself a favour, but also everyone else who is copied in to the email.

Empty your inbox.

It’s easy to say that you’ll avoid your inbox, but if you know in the back of your mind that the messages are piling up and becoming unmanageable, you will be tempted to start sifting through them.

At the end of every workday, empty your inbox so your count is brought down to zero.

Delete the spam, respond to the ones you can and move the rest into folders for you to deal with tomorrow.

Computer tricks.

Along with basic self-control, you can use these IT hacks to save time, too.

Turn off auto send-and-receive.

To assist you with your new pledge to only look at your inbox two to three times a day, you can turn off your auto-sync and change your settings so that you only get notifications during set hours.

We recommend 11am and 4pm, and perhaps one first thing in the morning if you deem it necessary.

Take advantage of automation.

Categorising messages into folders is a great way to stay on top of your mailbox. However, it can be extremely time-consuming to sit and manually sort through every email you receive.

This is why we create rules to sort, flag and automate messages. Yes, it may take time to craft rules that fully support the way you use email, however, it’ll severely reduce your email processing time in the long run.

Monitor urgent emails.

If only checking your emails at set times of the day sends shivers down your spine – and not in a good way – use a programme like AwayFind to ensure that you never miss anything urgent. http://awayfind.com

This particular software sends you an SMS or an instant message when an email sent to you matches certain criteria. For example, when it’s from a specific sender or when it includes the word “Urgent”.


Avoiding your inbox may take time to get used to, but if you do need any more help, please contact us today.

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