Email productivity tips that will help you to save you from yourself
Your email is one of your biggest enemies. Here’s how to manage this terrifyingly dangerous beast.
The relentless and persistent aggressive assault of emails can be counterproductive to the work. So, rather than checking your inbox every couple of minutes, turn off the notifications and set two or three dedicated slots in the day for checking your email.
- When BlackBerry arrived on the scene, back when years had at least two zeroes in them, it changed the way we work immensely. Suddenly, not only were we available for an audio call but we were reachable via email. We could be on our way home from work and easily reply to that email the boss sent at 9.14 pm. Or even roll out of bed, BlackBerry in hand, shooting off instructions to the team at the crack of dawn. Right up until the eventual and gradual democratization of the BlackBerry, the majority of workplaces still managed to stick to something resembling an everyday routine. We didn’t wake up to an onslaught of emails primarily because we didn’t have a device in our hand that could enable us to access emails.
- Slack, Teams, Basecamp and other such apps notwithstanding, email remains the foundation, or the basis or the mainstream of all the official forms of communications. If anyone had any insinuation or idea that these apps would actually replace email, it is clearer than ever that it isn’t going to happen in the foreseeable near future. And it is thus that we find ourselves at the mercy of that beeping on our phones and the notification that says it’s time to stop whatever we’re doing and pay attention to what just arrived in our inboxes.
- This relentless onslaught of emails can be futile or fruitless to work. Just imagine being in the thick of preparing a very important presentation and having your phone pinging through it all! So, how exactly do you save yourself from the email?
Resist the temptation or the desire to keep checking your email incessantly
- The secret that no one tells you is that you don’t actually have to answer your email the moment that it arrives. And yes, it could well be an email from your boss. The moment you interrupt or disrupt what you’re doing to check your email, you’re taking your focus and attention away from the task that is presently at hand. You do not need research (even though it exists) to know that when you go back to that task after interruption or disruption, it takes some time for you to get back into the zone. So, when you incessantly keep checking your email regularly, you’re being way less productive because the task that you are working on does not get your full attention or concentration. The best way to resist and ignore the temptation to check your email is to turn off the notifications. Rather, set aside two or three slots in each day for checking your email.
Don’t reply to an email the minute that you read it or receive it
- The moment you see reading and replying to emails as two separate activities, you will automatically realize that not all of the emails require and need an immediate response. These could also include the emails from your boss. Doing this will likely ensure the result in at least one of two things: your colleagues (likely even your boss) will know that you have other things on your plate than replying to their emails then and there. You will have set boundaries and limits by simply choosing to not reply immediately at that moment. The second thing that will happen or occur is you will have time to process and comprehend the email and draft a better response.
Ensure that you respond to your emails within 24 hours
- You may not always have the time to immediately address issues raised in an email, but it is always a good idea to reply to the email the same day anyway so the sender knows that you have seen their note. You need not commit to anything, just a line saying that you have received this and would get to it in the later part of the week, would go a long way and could be a great response.
Be very concise and precise
- Brevity goes a long way, no matter whom you are writing to. You need to be very sure that the email etiquettes have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is a customary habbit to check if your receiver is doing well, but it does not need to be a long rambling paragraph. Fake concern is very easily spotted. Be polite, yes, but also cut to the chase. Your receiver will be glad and likely thank you for it.
Avoid and refrain from checking your email first thing in the morning
- Remember those glorious days when you had no clue as to who had written to you till you got to work? Yes, well, you can’t go back to that golden time but your first act of the day at least need not involve checking your email. Set aside a few minutes prior and check if anything needs your urgent attention – just a quick scan or a glance will do. And then turn it off till you reach your workplace (or, if you are working from home… till you start with your work after completing your daily chores). Use the commute to prepare yourself for your workday… a day on which you don’t let your email beat you or bother you.
- Thank you very much for reading this blog post. I hope that you found this blog post to be helpful. In case of any doubts or queries please drop a comment in the comment section down below. In case you have any suggestions, drop a comment in the comments section down below.
- Have a wonderful rest of your day!
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