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Email undoubtedly is the fastest and simplest mode of communication today but managing a mass number of e-mails is a tiring and exhausting task. Studies show that an average worker spends one quarter of his/her day on reading and answering emails. Such workers are less productive and are often found behind schedule. Workers alone do not suffer from this email management issue; CEO’s and executives also fail to manage a cluttered inbox.
There are a number of techniques and strategies that can help you manage your inbox in a much better and less time consuming way, which in turn will increase your productivity at your workplace.
Check your inbox only at set points during the day
A simple yet an effective strategy is to check your inbox only at set points during the day. Setting aside time for responding to emails will miraculously increase your productivity as you no longer would be distracted by the constant alerts and beeps. If you want maximum output from this strategy then you must make sure that you switch off all the visual and audio alerts from your inbox. Do not check your inbox other than the set time slots, most people prefer the morning time to check and respond to their emails, but you can choose multiple slots as well depending on the number of your incoming and outgoing messages.
Two minute Rule
If you don’t utilize your time intelligently while digging into your inbox, chances are that you would end up wasting hours. In this situation the ‘Two Minute Rule’ which was originally conceptualized by David Allen, could be life savior. According to this rule if an email takes less than two minutes to respond then you must take care of it right now, don’t leave it for later, and for other emails that take require more time highlight or mark them and take care of those later. This is an amazing rule and is highly recommended by management gurus.
Use Handy tools:
If you are fed up of your clustered inbox and want to get rid of it real soon then you must start using tools that allow you to manage your inbox smartly. There are a lot of tools that can help you organize your mails, you can either flag or star an email, there is also an option of marking an email as ‘respond later’. Tools like these can greatly reduce your stress and can help you utilize your time in more productive activities. You can also make different folders for high priority mails which will help you filter useful mails, as they go directly to that folder.
Managing a regularly flooding inbox is a tiresome task but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it cannot be managed at all. Following some simple techniques and strategies such as the ‘Two Minute Rule’, responding mails in only selected time slots and using embedded tools of mail services can help you manage your inbox smartly and effectively.