Even though our phones keep us well connected, many of us dread returning to the office after being away as there is still a mountain of emails requiring attention. What was supposed to be a convenience has become a burden to many. But it is possible to keep your emails in order, and not let yourself be buried under an avalanche of inconsequential communications. Your professional organizer in NYC has Ten Tips for you to start your New Year with your email well organized and working for you, not against you!
Ten Tips for Mastering Email Mountain:
1. Schedule a specific time (or times) in the day when you focus on email communication. This will keep you from being distracted every time a new email appears in your inbox.
2. When processing at your emails during these scheduled blocks, address all emails that can be dealt with in 2 minutes or less.
3. Those that will require more time as you will need to gather information before responding should be added to your to-do list with a deadline for addressing them. Make sure to set aside adequate time to give such emails the thought required.
4. Delete all junk email and adjust your spam settings accordingly. Don’t even think of saving it! Jokes, coupons, sales, memos, etc. can clutter up your in box and distract you from the important tasks that require your attention.
5. Only keep the last email in a thread relating to an issue that has been handled or completed.
6. Create an archives folder on your computer for emails related to past projects that you may need to reference in the future.
7. Don’t use emails to store information. If someone sends you their business address, take the time to put it in your address book, then delete the email. If there’s an attachment, save it, print it or forward it, but don’t leave information ripening like a piece of fruit in your inbox, only to have to waste time searching for it later.
8. Create folders that mirror your paper files – clients, finances, travel, vendors, key projects, etc., and save emails to their specific folders when necessary.
9. Take steps to reduce the load of emails in your office by making it a policy to only cc individuals when ABSOLUTELY necessary. Hopefully you can set a new example that others will follow.
10. Avoid using your inbox as a to-do list. Take the last five minutes of your workday to skim through your emails and delete any that have been handled, are unnecessary or irrelevant, and file away those that need your future attention in their appropriate folders.
By taking these ten steps, you will be on top of the Email Mountain. Enjoy the view!