Handle emails even more efficiently
Tip 1: Use an Email Client
Set up an email client with all the addresses you have access to, to save time and keep track of everything. This way you avoid having to log in to twelve different accounts all the time.
It's worth taking a few hours to choose a client and try out different programs.
First, see if they are compatible with your accounts before you find out if you like the layout and options of the client. If you find out later that you can't access all of your accounts with the client, you've probably already spent a considerable amount of time setting it up and customizing it, which would be a waste of resources.
If you're an Apple fan boy or girl, you should be fine with the Mac Mail offered by Apple; for Windows, you can take a look at Outlook, Gmail or Mozilla Thunderbird. But of course, there are many more email client providers.
Tip 2: Disable email inbox notifications
"Oh, I just got an email! Let's see what's inside. Oh, it's just advertising again ...". Such behavior makes you unproductive, because it quickly distracts you from the actual task and you need some time to get back into it. It is much better to turn off all notifications for incoming emails. If something is very, very important, you will probably get a call (or Hedwig knocks on your window. 😉
Tip 3: Schedule fixed times to check emails
If you don't work in support or as a secretary and are therefore not responsible for answering emails all day, you should set fixed times when you check emails. Then, and only then, go to your email client and check the incoming emails. Pick a time in the morning, at noon and in the evening when you will check your e-mails. If you are a bit more courageous, you can also switch to once a day (for example in the evening) or only to several days a week. You can also go to the extreme as Tim Ferriss does in his book "The 4 hour week", namely only once a week 🙂 - The choice is yours!
So that I can focus better and not be interrupted again and again, I only check my emails once a day at a fixed time. This way I save a lot of time and can concentrate on one task after the other.
Philipp Rückert Chief Executive Officer Monkeys.Digital
Tip 4: Care for Inbox Zero
Have you ever seen that someone has several hundred or even more than a thousand unread emails in their email inbox? Who still has an overview of which e-mail is important and which is just spam? Maybe this person has already opened an email by mistake and wanted to come back to it later, but didn't mark the email as unread anymore. Moreover, you can doubt that this person will really read all these mails ever.
Therefore, it helps you enormously to establish Inbox Zero as a habit and to clean up your mailboxes thoroughly beforehand.
What is insignificant, you then delete immediately. Important emails you put in your archive after reading or answering, so that they don't get lost, but your inbox is always at 0 emails.
In addition, you then get a good overview to immediately fulfill the next tip.
If you want to make Inbox Zero work for you, here's how: Archive all emails older than 30 days. If someone has been waiting a month for a response and hasn't contacted you again, it can't have been that important.
Check on the rest of the emails:
- Is this garbage? -> delete
- Is this a mail where I have to do something? -> reply and maybe create a task and then archive it.
- Is this an email that someone else needs to answer? -> forward and archive
Congratulations, now your email inbox should be empty 😉
Tip 6: The 4-D system
This tip is a bit more extensive, but it can be very useful for you and your company!
So explain this system to everyone you work with directly or send them this section or link to our guide.
The 4 Ds that give this system its name are: Done, Delegate, Delete and Do/to do. The fact that all these terms start with D makes them quite easy to remember.
Done: This refers to tasks in e-mails that you or the assistant can do yourself and do it in a timely manner.
Delegate: The task in the e-mail can be delegated by the assistant or you to experts or responsible persons. In this way, only those employees who really know about the subject will take care of it.
Delete: This point concerns e-mails that can be easily deleted immediately (e.g. spam).
Do/to do: Such e-mails contain tasks for which the management is responsible. Only such e-mails concern the boss/company partner directly and must therefore be forwarded to him. All other tasks have either already been completed, delegated or the e-mail has been deleted.
If a company adheres to this procedure, it relieves the executive floor immensely. The main task of managing directors should be to work on the company and not to spend the whole day dealing with e-mails that others could have handled as well.
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