Checking, answering, and dealing with email can take a lot of time out of your day… but it doesn’t have to take THAT much time. Here are some tips to help make your process MUCH easier.
Pick certain times to answer your email… and stick to them!
Emails are not text messages. While they are important, they do not need a response the minute you receive them. Pick certain times of day to check and answer your emails. This will ensure prompt responses, and give more structure to your day. It will also reduce that feeling of overwhelm you get every time you open your email.
I recommend checking your email morning, mid-day, and late afternoon, if possible. If that’s too much, do morning and afternoon. And if that’s still too much, answer once a day. If you’re worried about people getting impatient, set up an auto-responder to let people know that you will respond within 24-48 hours.
Taking this step will give you SO much time back in your day. Remember… you run your email… the email doesn’t run you!
Turn off your notifications
Now that you’ve set a schedule to check your email, you no longer need to know each time you get a new message. You can rest easy knowing that you’ll see all your messages, and you’ll respond in due time.
Turn off your desktop notifications and the notifications on your phone. This will allow you to stay pro-active, rather than falling into a re-active trap.
Answer the easy emails right away
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. When you’re checking your email, answer the easy ones right away, rather than checking the message, and telling yourself you’ll get back to it later.
By waiting to answer, you’re taking up mental energy that would be better spent elsewhere. Part of your brain will be thinking… “I have to reply to Lisa. She wants to know what time works for me on Saturday… I’ll get back to her later.”
It may not seem like much, but that’s an energy leak. You don’t have time for that sort of thing! Answer the email, get it off your plate, out of your mind, and move on with your day.
Set up Canned Responses… and use them!
If you receive the same kind of inquires day after day, Canned Responses will save you tons of time, and lots of mental energy.
You can set up a template to answer the basic question, and customize it for the best response when answering individual emails.
Having the canned response in place saves you from repeating yourself, taking the time to find the proper information, and allows you to answer in seconds rather than in many many minutes.
Send your newsletters to a folder to read later
Instead of stopping to read every single newsletter you’ve opted into (or ignoring them, leaving them to sit in your inbox gathering dust) label them “to read” or “newsletter” or whatever works for you, and send them to a corresponding folder ASAP.
Set some time aside each week to read these emails at your leisure. This will help you get through your daily emails MUCH faster, and you won’t have to worry about missing out on any big news.
If you find that you STILL aren’t reading certain newsletters, it might be time to unsubscribe.
Dealing with your email doesn’t have to be an all-consuming task. By using these tips, you’ll save yourself much time and energy each day.