A powerful business marketing article written by Patty Whelan of Merchant Express.
If you get bombarded with a slew of emails during your business day — you are not alone. Recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that the average worker spends 13 hours a week (28% of each day) reading, writing and responding to emails. It’s easy to feel buried or overwhelmed by the time it takes to go through them. The following tips can help you manage your email more efficiently before your inbox becomes the bane of your existence.
1. Restrict Your Incoming Emails The first thing to do is reduce spam by getting a good spam filter. You will immediately eliminate a huge portion of junk mail delivered to your inbox and avoid dangerous spam that can contain malware, viruses, keyloggers, phishing attacks and more. With spam filter protection your incoming email will not only greatly decrease (about 90% will go straight to the trash) but you will also gain valuable protection for your sensitive private data that may include bank account and credit card information, usernames and passwords.
2. Turn Your Notifications Off Many social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and Pinterest will send you regular notifications. Be conservative if you want fewer interruptions to your work flow and set them to a minimum notification frequency — or better still eliminate them altogether!
3. Set Up Filters and Folders for Less Critical Emails If you don’t see the email immediately pop up in your inbox it will cause fewer distractions and interruptions. Gmail offers filters so you can deal with your low value or personal emails at a later time. The more folders you create, the better you can prioritize and manage your time spent reading emails and responding if necessary.
4. Respond to Fewer Emails It may not have occurred to you that not every email requires a reply. If your email doesn’t specifically require a response — then don’t! Too often we worry about being polite but email etiquette has different proprieties of conduct than our face-to-face interpersonal interactions. If you must respond, prioritize first and resist the urge to respond instantaneously.
5. Be Aggressive in Filing and Deleting Don’t read your emails and let them sit there. Make an immediate decision to read-and-respond, read-and-file or read-and-delete. Remember the old adage: out of sight out of mind. Think of clearing out your inbox as a way to clear your mind of the mental clutter and nagging interference that unread emails can trigger.
Put an end to email overflow to discover a greater sense of satisfaction. You might find the benefits of organizing and downsizing your email inbox extend far beyond just saving time. If you are a small business owner you will be able to put your efforts into more critical aspects of running your business.
Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur or a small business employee, you will increase your efficiency and likely become a more productive, effective, happier and successful person. It can help you gain improved focus at work and a more relaxed and confident frame of mind anywhere you may be.
How are you managing your email overload? Share your comments below.
About the Author: Patty Whelan writes for www.merchantexpress.com
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