Posted on

Taming your e-mail inbox


Do you feel like you couldn’t live without e-mail? I often wonder how I ever did business without e-mail. My phone hardly rings anymore, as all my clients prefer e-mail, but as effective and efficient as e-mail can be, it can become quite a burdensome and greedy time-wasting animal that needs constant taming. In order for this business tool to really serve us well, we must learn to control it-and not vice versa.{{more}}

  • Do you check your e-mail persistently? If you check your e-mail three to five times per hour, you are addicted and a big time waster. If you get excited when you here that little “You’ve Got Mail” signal, you need an e-mail attitude adjustment! Designate time first thing in the morning to review and deal with all the e-mails you receive over night, then close your e-mail program. Resist checking it again except for a few other designated time slots throughout the day. As soon as you finish that session, close the program again.
  • Do you use folders? Not all the e-mails you receive are important. Create folders for incoming e-mail: maybe individual folders for people you receive e-mail from on a regular basis, or folders for clients, or different folders for incoming orders, receipts, questions-you pick the categories that work for you. Once you become familiar with using folders, check into setting up filters that automatically route e-mails into appropriate folders if they contain certain words in the subject line or in the body of the message so they bypass your inbox entirely.
  • Do you delete the junk? Do you have people who send you those horrible chain e-mails? You know the ones-they usually contain nasty jokes or ask you to pray for something and threaten you if you don’t forward the message to more people. And, don’t forget the ones that are money scams, announcing that you can get a small fortune just by helping some poor widow or child access funds that their dear parted parent or spouse left for them-all you need to do is give them a few hundred or thousand dollars and you will get millions in return! They are all scams; just hit the delete button.
  • Do you subscribe to every newsletter that sounds even the least bit interesting? How many newsletters do you receive? Designate a box just for newsletters. Everyone has an online newsletter, including my company. You can’t read them all (but make sure you read ours) right away, so designate a newsletter folder and read them at a later date.
  • Is your inbox emptied daily? At the end of the day, try to have an empty inbox. When e-mail comes in, read it, file it or act on it, and delete it. If you don’t, your inbox will overflow with messages you’ve delayed acting on in times gone by . . .
  • Are you a repeat reader? If you have e-mails that you constantly reread but do nothing about, stop it! Read them once, then decide on a course of action for that e-mail and follow through with that decision.

Karen Hinds President/CEO –
Workplace Success Group,
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775;
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
[email protected]
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)