Electronic mail appeared as a blessing. It would let you communicate with friends, family and co-workers in a matter of seconds, regardless of where they were around the world.
With such a fantastic communication tool, however, other problems emerged. Just ask any manager of a big corporation and he will tell you that 40% or more of his work day is dedicated to receiving and sending emails.
That is a big time drain. How could you manage your emails more efficiently, reducing the overall time consumed in the process? I have been asking this question to myself for a long time, and below you will find two tips that worked pretty well.
1. Respond right after reading each email
I used to read all the emails in a row. Afterwards I would re-read the important ones and only then respond. Sometimes a couple of hours would pass before I returned to the important emails, and it was not rare that some of them would get lost or forgotten.
As you can see the process was very inefficient. First of all because I would waste time reading each email two or more times. Secondly because there was a risk of neglecting emails altogether.
The solution for this problem was simple: respond to each email right after reading it. The only exception was emails that did not require an answer at all.
Read, reply, next. It works like a charm.
2. Bulk check
Another bad habit that I had was to check the email client every time that a new message arrived. A much better approach is to bulk check your emails. Ideally you want to fix two or three times along the day where you will sit, read and reply to emails.
Outside these time brackets you should not touch the email client.
This post was written as part of the Time Management group writing project hosted by InspirationBit.