Wednesday 27 July 2011

Are emails taking over your life?

One of the first things I did when I got my iPhone was to set up my emails on it and set to be alerted when I recieved a new message... BIG MISTAKE. I don't have a lot of email accounts but I have a work one, personal one, one for my blogs and another for social media accounts. My work email is the most important and most of my work is done via email so I have to do regular checks of this account. The others not so much.

After a while of being distracted by the bleeping/vibrating notifications that I had new mail I turned it off. I realised this was not a good way to be spending my day and it had made me spend more time of my day devoted to emails than was really necessary. I needed to change things. To manage my emails better I have adopted this way of doing it;

I manually fetch my own emails either on a laptop or on my iPhone at a time convenient to me where I can devote my time to my emails. Recently I have found whilst commuting on a train can be a good time to check emails. Then I adopted the Four D's for emails - Delete it, Do it, Delegate it, Defer it.

Delete it

Some people actually will shudder to read the words "delete email". No I'm not mad but sometimes it's ok to just press delete. Some emails have no need for a reply, if they are purely information based and I know that information is elsewhere or I can put that information elsewhere like into my diary then I will delete the email.

Do it

Can you answer in two minutes? Then do it. You might surprise how many emails you can get through in a short space of time if you set aside the time

Delegate it

If you can't answer it in two minutes can you send it to a work colleague who could do it?

Defer it

If you can't do it in two minutes and it can't be delegated then you will have to defer it for a later time. This then becomes a task and I have a separate folder for these where I can action tasks and what things need to be done to make it happen.

Now obviously if you start this with 100's of messages like I did then it will take you some time to clear your inbox but with a regular routine you will find like I have that your emails become more manageable and you are being more productive with your time too. It's a win win! :-)


1 comment:

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