When email hit the business world something remarkable happened, we now have the capability to communicate almost instantly with another person or company anywhere in the world. However this can become your demise, your email address and password becomes your access code to the online world, in turn filling up your inbox with unwanted junk.
Business owners, Entrepreneurs and even managers often receive hundreds of emails every day. I’m sure we’ve all seen an inbox with thousands of unread messages. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, more than one-quarter of the average worker’s day is spent reading and answering emails. Its the second most time consuming task after their role specific tasks.
As a productive business owner or entrepreneur you will need to know how to manage your inbox to make dealing with emails quick and stress free. Today I am going to give you the 4 basic steps to managing your inbox.
1. Set Aside Time to Read and Respond
Schedule specific blocks of time throughout the day for checking your email, you may consider marking these times in your reminders or calendar or even turning off your phone and shutting your office door.
The amount of time you will need for reviewing and replying will depend on how many emails you receive and how frequently you choose to check your messages. Some busy entrepreneurs will find it more effective to dedicate 10 minutes per every working hour to email. Others will find that 15 minutes two or three times a day is more than enough.
2. Act Immediately
Making quick decisions and acting upon them immediately should be no stranger to anyone in a managerial position. Your inbox should be treated in the same manner.
The first thing you should do when opening your inbox is to clear it of all spam and mail that you’ll never read. Now that all the junk is out of the way look for emails that do not require a response but are important enough to keep for reviewing. Once those are filed, you can focus on reading and responding to the rest.
Do not let important emails sit in your inbox, even if you are on vacation. Let the sender know when you will be able to respond, and follow up on that deadline.
3. Organization System
More than half of your inbox will be “junk mail”, however the other half will not only include messages related to key aspects of your business but also your personal life and other online activities.
Most email service providers have a system for filing and prioritizing your emails. Try and be as organized as possible, break your business emails down into several folders, perhaps one for clients, one for employees, and one for your suppliers or outside contractors.
Create specific categories within these folders to further better your filing system, which in turn will save you time, and time is money.
4. Unsubscribe From Unread Promotionals
If you haven’t tried the steps above yet, I’m sure if you look through your email right now you will find newsletters or promotionals from websites you may have visited once, 2 YEARS ago.
Its time to go through and unsubscribe from anything you haven’t read in the last month, it will take a massive load off your shoulders and make your inbox much easier to manage.