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Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, there’s nothing worse than starting your Monday with a hundred emails to respond to. The next thing you know the entire morning is gone and you’ve achieved very little. And it doesn’t stop there.
When every morning is spend wading through emails, it severely hampers your productivity. Here’s how to get around the email onslaught.
The deluge may start with you
Here’s something you probably don’t want to hear. Your overflowing inbox might just be your fault. As a business leader, you set the tone for the rest of the company.
If you send out an email to your manager for every thought that enters your head, they will then respond by sending out emails to the rest of your staff. This will then come back to you exponentially as 10, 15, 100 employees respond.
In a study conducted at a large London corporate, executives feeling overwhelmed by email discovered they were sending on average 56 emails a day, accounting for 1,5 hours of work time being lost.
The executives were encouraged and helped to cut down emails by 54%. The result was that 73 other employees followed suit voluntarily and email output dropped 64%. Overall the company gained 10 400 hours annually from cooling off on emails. You too can improve productivity by 5% to 30% by doing the same exercise.
Cut the waffle
If you’re not able to cut down on volume of emails, try cut down on the amount you write. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to say what you need to in five sentences just give it a try – you’ll surprise yourself. If you’re worried that people will think you’re being short off by not giving them a longer mail, attach the link below to your email signature. It explains why you’re only giving a quick reply.
Turn off your email
Block off your most productive times and make them an email-free zone. When your concentration is broken by the little notification box popping up every few minutes you’re not going to get a lot done.
Enforce a policy to respond to emails within 24 hours and don’t reply to emails that come in inside your blocked time. You can also set an out-of-office notification stating to anyone sending emails that you will respond within 24 hours or during your set times for responding.
If you remain disciplined with this policy people will soon learn how and when to contact you. Not only will your inbox become a lot more manageable, but you’ll become a lot more productive and effective too.