Feel like reading and responding to emails is an exhausting part of your working day? You’re not in this alone, we all do sometimes.
Is it anything strange that office workers check their emails 11 times an hour on average? Do the math; with the normal working hours, that translates to a total of 88 times! Another record has it that the average worker spends 13 hours a week reading and answering emails. It means that nearly 30% of their working time is spent handling their inbox. It’s just too much time to spend on messages! People hardly get to that zero email inbox these days.
This monster in email is eating our time, killing our productivity and devouring every shred of strength we have in us for daily effectiveness. If you’re embroiled in this like many of us do, no worries; this email productivity hacks list brings together the best of methods to hack your email inbox for productivity and fulfillment in your everyday life.
1. Schedule time for emails
If you don’t plan time to do it, you won’t be able to regulate your inbox.
And if you don’t want interruption in your daily activities you must have a schedule for checking your inbox else you’ll always find yourself going back and forth with checking emails when you should not be doing so. Schedule time for morning, another at noon and at close of the day, a 15 minutes period should be moderately okay. If you can hold to such a plan, you can treat emails efficiently while preventing it from consuming your whole day.
2. Spend an average of one minute for every email you send
You have to allocate time. When you open it, deal with it. Don’t hang onto opening old emails without treating any and probably think you’ll come back to them later. The time it’s opened is the right time, that’s the only time you’re supposed to take care of that message. Don’t spend your productive hours on emails. Instead, you’re encouraged to spend your day’s first hour completing at least one project that is vital to your work performance.
3. Get to zero inbox each week
One way for sure on email productivity hacks is how to attain the zero inbox.
Getting to inbox zero is one way to be sure every email has been treated. This keeps you settled and frees your mind. If you can, try get it to nil once a week. You’re surely going to get that feeling of achieving something unique with your email handling.
4. Forward multiple accounts to one inbox
There are reasons for keeping many email accounts. You deal with personal emails as well your professional ones. If you have more accounts, it’s much easier to have one place to check them all. Have you taken thought of implementing that? You can forward multiple accounts to one inbox in most email providers. And not only will one able to send from any of these accounts, but you will also be able to reply by choosing the email address to which an email was sent so you reply from there.
5. Use templates
Do you ever find yourself writing the same sentences over and over? Then you should use the email templates. Email templates ranks as one of the top email productivity hacks. Read through your sent mail and see what kind of messages you send on a regular basis and put them in a template. Work with this template anything you’re going to send similar emails.
6. Send less to receive fewer emails
A large part of handling the inbox is balancing the desires of recipients and senders on the other hand. In a society where we are used to everything being instantly on request and at our disposal, you should not let that be the standards of your email recipients. As a sales representative, when you have a prospect that has replied, it is very tempting to answer very fast as humanly possible. But what message is this sending out to prospects? The more emails you send, the more emails you can expect in return, so send fewer. This is not encouraging you to disregard emails but to learn how to prudently use your time, there is no email productivity hacks better than this.
7. Switch off email notifications
Moore and Morgensten are on the same page on this.
Turned off notifications can be a huge help if you’re really going to get a handle on having control of your inbox. Email alerts can constitute a form of distraction according to psychologists, as they contribute to constant interruptions all day long.
“Such interruptions are counterproductive to our efficiency,” says Moore, “and research shows that every message throws us off for 64 seconds, and it takes about 20 minutes to return to productivity.”
Instead of shifting your attention between emails and work duties, Morgenstern says you must block those times of your day to focus solely on clearing your inbox.
“You want to break the habit of regular email searches,” she says. “If you end up doing this all day, the other job that needs attention ends up coming home with you because you’re tired from emails searches.” She suggests, as a solution, you can mark your calendar with 30 to 40 minute time slots when you’re going to respond to messages.
8. Use the short answer
Short answers are one of the email productivity hacks. Although it may sound simple, it’s really a good one in the list of hacks to effectively have control over your emails. It is not offensive to respond to a long email with a few sentences or even just a few letters. There is absolutely no reason to add fluff if you can effectively express your answer in just a few sentences. Don’t even say “Hi, this – and-that.” It’s enough to have a straightforward “no” that gives you a lot of respect.
9. Boomerang it
Users of Gmail, this is a plus for you as one of the rare email hacks. There’s a feature called Boomerang that takes email out of the inbox, and then it later comes back when you’re ready. How about that? Imagine the email you received in your inbox don’t show up or disappears into thin air and then returns in the indicated time you’re ready for it! You have power over your inbox this way shutting off the distractions. This is a strategy to treat email on your conditions and to increase the productivity of your email.
10. Use folders for quick and effective action
Last but not the list among the email productivity hacks is the use of folders.
You don’t need more than five of these folders not to be overwhelmed by them. Don’t use too many folders; this is another trouble on its own. Having specific folders for categories of issues help your organization and improves you, however, don’t overdo it. Here are the five directories or folders you should consider:
- Requires Action
- Waiting for Response
- To read
Responding to emails is no doubt an important part of everyday life. There is no harm in responding to emails if they can be organized. You hold the keys to your inbox and the time to respond to one should not go out of your control.