According to the latest research, the average office employee receives a whopping 121 emails each day. To be able to get a grasp on your email inbox, it’s critical that you establish a set of ground rules for handing email.
Here are several strategies to minimize the amount of time that you spend sifting through your email inbox:
- Use Chat Tools – Instead of carrying on brief conversations via email, turn to online chat tools such as Facebook Messenger and Skype to carry on the conversation without cluttering up your email inbox. These chat tools also give users the option to download the conversation for later reference if needed.
- Be Selective About Hitting Reply – If you find that you need to exchange more than three emails to someone to get your point across, pick up the phone and have a live conversation.
- Schedule Time for Email – Establish specific times throughout your day that you will check your email. If you feel reluctant to keep your contacts waiting, set up an auto response that will let them know when you’ll be responding to emails.
- Encourage Note Taking – If you’re meeting with someone to discuss a project, encourage note taking. This will help to cut down the amount of questions that the person could potentially email you down the road.
- Hold Replies Until the End of the Day – While you can read your emails at predetermined times throughout the day, consider waiting to reply until the end of the day. This will help you avoid playing email tag and give you time to think through your responses.
- Keep Your Door Open – Make it known to your team that they can walk into your office with a question rather than send you an email.
- List Other Forms of Communication Above Your Email – Let people know other ways that they can get in touch with you other than email by including your phone number and messaging tools (Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn Messenger, etc) above your email address on your contact page.
- Delegate – If you don’t like the idea of auto-reply, you can give someone in your office account privileges to help manage your email inbox when you’re not available.
While you can never officially conquer your email inbox, implementing the tactics outlined above will help you gain more control over your inbox and increase your level of productivity.