Studies show that employees waste 17 hours a week on pointless work email. Take 17 and times it by all of your employees and that’s a hefty expense for businesses. Today’s blog will help us all better manage our email whether you work in an office or not.
Let’s start with some questions.
Question #1: Is that your actual email number? You have 62,000 unread emails?
Michelle: Yes I do have that many emails, and trust me I wish that wasn’t me. I have 7 different emails for 4 different companies that I manage every day. I’m not the person who gets my inbox to zero before being done for the day, but there are some things I do to help keep me sane, because there are many weeks I spend MORE than 17 hours a week in email.
Question #2: What would you say is the number one things professionals should do when managing their email?
Michelle: They should set a schedule for when they look at email. It shouldn’t be open all the time and notifications should be turned off. A study by Basex research shows that that if you’re in a project and you get interrupted, it takes 20 minutes to get your brain back to the point where you were. Productivity would increase if you check your emails 3 times a day. Morning when you get in, right before or right after lunch and right before you leave for the day.
Question #3: Many people get SO many emails, that only checking 3 times a day doesn’t seem like enough to sift through everything. What would your advice be for that?
Michelle: That’s why I recommend opting out of emails and there’s a great service called unroll.me that will tell you what lists you are signed up for and you can opt out on the screen with a click of a button. Cut back the junk and it makes the important stuff easier to respond to.
Question #4: How do you recommend people sift through email so they are focusing on the biggest priorities first?
Michelle: I recommend using folders. In most email clients you can set rules to send certain messages to certain folders so you can access them easily. You can also have your email client Star or bold emails from certain clients or your boss. If that’s not enough, I found out about a service called Sanebox that goes even further with rules and folders so that you can take back your email.