Question: Help! I’m drowning in email. How can I gain control over my Email inbox and get my work done? I open Email in the morning and soon hours pass and I haven’t completed any of the work on my to-do list.
Answer: This is a very common challenge. In fact, last week alone I taught a webinar on Efficient and Effective Email to over 100 employees of a corporate client, addressed the email challenge in a virtual keynote presentation I did for around 200 employees of another company, I onboarded a new private coaching client that wants to focus on gaining control over her email, tasks and priorities, AND Email is our April topic of the month in our group It’s About Time membership program (webinar is on 4/5/22 – see link below to join if you want “in”).
According to Harvard Business Review, American workers waste an average of 21 minutes per day over-checking email. That is a staggering 87.5 hours wasted every year (over two full weeks of work)! There are many more examples of inefficient email practices resulting in more wasted time every day. It all adds up!
Working from your inbox all day long is a very reactive way to work. If you want to be more proactive in your day, gain control over your email inbox and have time to work on your priorities, we have a few tips. Keep reading below and then let us know what a difference these strategies make for you.
Has your Email inbox taken on a life of its own?
- Don’t start your day by opening your inbox. Complete the most important thing from your task list first. Once that is done, you will have met one of the day’s biggest goals before you delve into your inbox. If you’re staying in Email trying to keep up with the volume as it comes in (reacting to other’s needs and requests of your time), hours can pass and you may have little proactive, productive work accomplished. In other words, Whack-A-Mole isn’t a strategy that’s effective for managing your email inbox or boosting your productivity. Work on your priorities and then process email in between tasks.
- Reduce the frequency you check email. Checking email every few minutes is a very distracting and costly behavior. It prevents you from staying focused on your work. Experiment working in 25-90 minute sessions without checking email (focusing instead on priority work). You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done and how the quality of your work improves without so much distraction and self-interruption.
- Turn off notification sounds and icons. These notifications, even just hearing or glancing at them, can cost hours a day in lost productivity. Take control of your email and check your inbox on your terms.
“It’s About Time” to gain control!
These three strategies are just a few of the many we love to share with clients who want to gain control over their email (and tangentially their tasks and time). Email management strategies are the topic of our “It’s About Time” virtual productivity program for the month of April. In the group, we’ll discuss more strategies like those shared above and how to improve focus and recoup wasted time by minimizing distractions and interruptions. If you need to get control of your Email inbox, we’d love to have you join us!
Are you looking for ways to boost your productivity beyond being more effective and efficient with Email? Over the next three months, our webinars address some of our most popular productivity topics:
- April: Email Intervention
- May: Unearth Your Desk (in which we do a clutter-clearing challenge)
- June: Cross it Off the List (some good habits around getting important things done).
If you struggle with Email, physical organization or have too much on your to-do list, now is a great time to join!
Want private coaching custom tailored to your needs and situation? If your Email inbox has taken on a life of its own or you could just use some help tuning up your daily habits and routines to boost your productivity, schedule a free, no-risk Discovery Call today.