Email management is challenging! With constant message alerts and email notifications on our computers, smartphones and tablets, it’s easy to get distracted and stressed when it feels like work is taking over our personal time. Although 24 hour access to email sounds good, the reality can mean stress, overwhelm and even paranoia. We’ve all had that late night email that keeps us awake and worried about a client relationship all night.
Effective email management is essential to running a successful business and maintaining a healthy work/life balance
So here are my top tips for effective email management.
Switch your smartphone off out of hours
At the very least disable notifications from your email apps. The instant nature of email can make us feel pressured into feeling we should respond immediately. In reality, speed isn’t always of the essence and clients with any urgent concerns or issues are more likely to call than spend time over an email.
Set fixed times to check email
How often do you check your email inbox? A few times a day? Every hour? Every opportunity you get? Checking email can be one of the most distracting tasks for any business owner. How often have you checked your email first thing in the morning and you’re still trying to go through them at lunchtime?
Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point; and checking email shouldn’t be at the top of your to do list – save that for your priority task of the day. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon tend to be the least distracting times of day.
Handle your emails correctly
Prioritise the emails that need responding to straight away, and do it! Any that require some work to be done first or you need to discuss with someone else, schedule for tomorrow’s to do list. Any emails that don’t require a response move to the relevant folders to keep your inbox clear and clutter free.
FollowUpThen (https://www.followupthen.com/) is a great tool for reminding you to follow up on specific emails. By adding [firstname.lastname@example.org] to the BCC, CC or ‘to’ field and you’ll receive an email at that time reminding you to follow up.
Whilst we’re talking about keeping things clutter free – make sure you unsubscribe from any mailing lists you’re not getting any use out of. If you really want to keep the emails, use Unroll.me (https://unroll.me/) to pull them all into one daily email.
Outsource your email management to a Virtual Assistant
Managing your email is one of the most time consuming tasks for you and your business. Imagine being able to log in and only seeing the emails you actually need to deal with?
A virtual assistant will check your emails on a daily basis, organise your emails according to your instructions, and even reply as you on your behalf. This enables you to get on with managing your business and doing what you do best.
Outsourcing your email management allows you to have a better work/life balance as you have peace of mind that your email inbox is being looked after.
Emails are essential for every business, but there really is no reason to get bogged down and overwhelmed by the size of your inbox. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and if you have any tips or tricks I haven’t talked about please comment below – I’d love to hear them!