1 – Give yourself dedicated time slots to check your emails
With messaging systems like Outlook, your emails are displayed in real time at the bottom of your screen. If you mainly work on your computer, what a source of deconcentration! A word of advice: first turn off email notifications. Then, give yourself time slots in your day to consult them. For example, you can book a one-hour slot at the start of the day and then a half-hour at the start of the afternoon to check your email. It’s up to you to decide according to your needs!
2 – Respond in stages
When you open your mailbox, here’s how to handle the new messages you receive. First, delete all unnecessary messages (advertisements, simple “OK” or “Thank you” responses, acknowledgments of receipt, etc.). Then answer all emails that take less than two minutes to process. Then forward all emails that can be managed by other more concerned people (your salespeople, for example). Finally, file emails that you can reply to later in directories.
3 – Prioritize your emails
Start by creating an “urgent” folder, in which to place all the emails that require a quick but thoughtful response. As soon as you have time and have replied to all the “2 minute” mails, open this folder to start processing the messages there. Then create another “To do later” folder where you place less urgent emails, to which you can give yourself more time. This file can be consulted more sporadically, once a week. But of course, there is no pre-established rule for the constitution of these files. It’s up to you to test solutions and see which one works best!
4 – Do not hesitate to opt for the telephone The
more e-mails you send, the more you will receive. It seems rather logical! So don’t forget that the phone can also be a convenient way to chat. You will save time and reduce your mailbox. Likewise, think carefully when you add collaborators in copy of your emails. Do they necessarily need to be aware of these exchanges? Loops with a lot of recipients often lead to unnecessary floods of emails.
5 – Make yourself clear with your collaborators, suppliers, employees…
Each email does not necessarily call for a response. Establish with all the people with whom you interact regularly some rules of use. For example, if your supplier informs you that he will deliver to you on Thursday morning, it is not useful to answer him “OK” or “ok”. He must know that if you do not answer him, it is because the information has been taken into account and that you are expecting him at the scheduled time. You will save a few seconds but which, added to each other during the year, can prove to be very precious!