You’ve got mail! Now what?
We communicate heavily via email nowadays and running a business means you have endless conversations dropping into your inbox. You want to respond immediately as you want to deliver a great service, but you have a Zoom meeting in 5 minutes, what do you do? How can you possibly keep everyone happy whilst running your business?
Honestly, the bottom line is that yes, you want to stay on top of it all, but you cannot be everywhere especially in your inbox. Here are some tips to reduce the overwhelm and not fear your inbox.
1. Unsubscribe from those newsletters
We sign up for freebies and newsletters all the time. In order to grab that valuable download, you have to hand over your email address and you were happy to do it at that point. At 10:00am every Thursday, the offers roll in. Do you read them or scroll past them? If you scroll past and they are no longer useful, then please hit delete and unsubscribe. Remember you can always sign up again in the future if need be.
2. Streamline your inbox
Depending on your email provider, you may have the option to really streamline your inbox. You can categorise, add labels and folders to ensure you don’t miss any important bits that you would like to follow up sooner rather than later. If your email provider does not support this, you can go in and add flags to every email. With each colour, you can decide which colour relates to what. I use RED for important, AMBER for pending and GREEN to follow up. A number of my clients use Google Mail and they really like that you can do so much within the inbox to cut out the anxiety.
3. Archive old conversations
As much as we want to delete old conversations, how about archiving them just in case you need to refer back, in the future. It is good practice to do this at the end of your working day, so it does not feel like too much of a chore at the end of the week, or month, or year (daily is good peeps).
4. Allocate time for emails every day, and stick to it
In the world of business, time is money, so it is really important to manage your time well.
Allocate a set time for you to check your emails daily. Perhaps once in the morning and once towards the end of the day may work for you. I would also suggest if you generally have back-to-back meetings and you don’t have a chance to check in until the evenings, turn on an autoresponder that informs the sender when they can expect a response.
Try not to respond outside of office hours, keep all communication within office hours as you also need time to switch off and have time for you/family. Balance is key!
5. Turn off email notifications
As much as you set aside time blocks for emails, the endless pings of notifications will be a real temptation. Notifications can be a huge distraction especially when you are in your zone of genius creating magic. If this sounds familiar, just turn the notifications off and devote your time to what you love to do best.
Using the above tips will ease the feeling of inbox overwhelm.
Let’s get your inbox working for you. Email management is just one of the services that I offer as an Executive VA. If you would like to outsource that particular side of the business, let’s talk today [book in here]. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.