Email began a revolution in the area of communication. What once required a five or ten minute visit or call to a coworker’s office now can be done in just a few seconds Email1and1 . Shoot them an email. The problem is, it’s too easy. We are now inundated with full Inboxes on a daily basis. Sometimes, the Inbox fills up multiple times a day. Managing the volume of your email occupies time you need to be spending on other important aspects of your job. Learn to manage email, and the rest of your day won’t seem so overwhelming.
Set aside time for email reading each day and stick to it. If you get an average of 100 emails a day and spend an average of 3 minutes on each email, you are spending 5 hours of your day managing emails! For the average 9-10 hour work day, this is half your time. Break your email time down to one, two or three manageable chunks of time per day. Dedicate a set amount of time (15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc) for email, and work exclusively on email for that duration. Then stop. The rest will have to wait.
Go through all of your emails and identify important ones before answering any of them. They may all be important to the sender, but face it: they are not all important enough to delay a meeting with clients or a phone call about an upcoming project. Scan all of your emails, spend your designated time responding to the urgent ones, and end your email answering session. Managing emails means recognizing what is important and what is not.
Train your staff to use emails only for relevant information. Some managers go so far as to deduct money from the sender’s budget for each email they send. While this seems extreme, it is important to train your staff to save emails for important communication. Teach them to work through more of their problems without a manager’s help, hold them accountable for the number of emails they send or the time they spend on email each day. Help them to recognize that wasted time is wasted effort.