End Email Overwhelm with These 4 Tips

Charlinda      Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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Service providers often struggle with email overwhelm. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you probably check your email the moment you get up. Then you go on to check it several more times during the day, popping in and out of your inbox.

The problem with checking your email throughout the day is that it becomes easy to get distracted. You’ve probably been working in the middle of a big project, stopped to check your email, and found you were still in your inbox two hours later. Those two hours of productivity were just lost. Learning to manage your inbox is essential to preventing distractions and taking control of your day.

Start by Separating Accounts

It’s not uncommon for service providers to use the same inbox for multiple things. You have clients email the same address that you use to handle all of your other business correspondence.

You may also have personal information like your banking notices or medical appointments coming to the same address. The result is an inbox that’s cluttered and difficult to organize. To prevent this, separate your email accounts. Create a specific address just for client communication.

Make a second account for business messages, like emails from your hosting company or notifications that someone commented on your blog.

Finally, you need a third email account that’s exclusive to your personal life. Give this third email account to companies like your bank and your hair salon.

Use Project Management Software

Nothing kills productivity faster than emailing your clients task lists or vice versa. Not only are these tasks more likely to fall between the cracks, but they can also make your inbox feel like a stressful space.

Instead, use project management software like Trello or Asana. Tell your clients to use these programs to share tasks and you’ll find your inbox easier to manage.

There's a great guide callled Finally Organized which provides  a lot of useful tips and tricks on how to keep your e-mails and business organized.

Have Regular Check-In Times

It can be tempting to leave your inbox up while you work or to check it multiple times through the day. The problem is that each interruption takes your focus away from your current task.

If you want to be more productive, choose two or three time slots where you can check and respond to any email. For example, you might decide to check your email at ten in the morning because that’s when your clients who are in a different time zone will email you.

During a check-in, make it a priority to tidy your inbox and get it back down to 0 emails. This will make it easy for you to stay on top of your messages every day.

Turn Off Notifications

Whether it’s a tablet or phone, you probably check your email on a smart device. This can be a huge help if you’re traveling or if you need quick feedback from a client.

But most devices are set up to notify you as soon as a new message hits your inbox. This isn’t so great if there’s nothing urgent happening and you’re getting dozens of emails. That ‘ping’ sound can distract you from your workflow and make you lose your concentration.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to fix this problem. Go into your device settings and turn off notifications for emails. Now, you won’t be distracted and can give your full attention to your current task.

While emails may feel urgent, they rarely are. Practice the tips above, so you can reclaim your productivity and your focus.

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