We all know that time management is an important component of efficiency at work – both on the individual and team level. Time management starts from the second you walk into the office and probably doesn’t really ever end; though you shouldn’t take your work home with you. So, to start with effective time management, think about the first thing you do in the morning when you go into work. It’s probably the same for everyone nowadays – we check our email.
Well, who would have thought that managing email needs its own version of time management steps and ideas? Some of us receive hundreds of emails a day (maybe more!), and it becomes very difficult to keep track of what who we’ve replied to, what we need to make note of and what needs to be deleted. Below you’ll find four steps to making email time management a better experience:
1. Time Management – Check Your Email at Set Times
Remembering the information from multiple emails is important, but we can’t retain any of that if we try to read and sort through everything all at once. Making a schedule of when to check your emails will greatly reduce the stress and disorganization that can so easily come about. A good schedule may have you checking first thing in the morning, before lunch, and about an hour before you’re finished working for the day. That way, you can get all of the important updates that happened overnight and during the day.
It’s also a good idea to schedule your times to respond in the same fashion. You don’t have to use your email reading time to respond to all of the messages as well. Simply set aside two separate schedules. It’s often suggested to respond to emails when you’re at your lowest point of focus for the day, that way you won’t be wasting time and you could be accomplish more important tasks elsewhere.
2. Use the Two-Minute Rule
Don’t waste too much time reading emails. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, advises that if the email takes less than two minutes to read, respond to it right then and there, even if it is not urgent. The theory behind this method is that storing the email to take care of later generally takes more time than the quick read and response you’re able to do immediately.
3. Organizing Email
This is the hardest part. Organizing anything seems to be a major struggle for many people, and organizing emails is no easier task. When you’re receiving a multitude of them every day and are just getting into the idea of organizing them now, it can look to be a very daunting adventure – and it will be. It is often easier to lump all of your past emails that are less important into a giant group and start your organization with the emails you receive today.
The categories and details are unique to you and can be as vague or elaborate as you’d like them to be. Remember, with organization it’s important to keep things in a way that you understand them. No one else is going to be checking your email, so you don’t have to explain your organization system to anyone but yourself.
4. Get An Assistant
Milrich Virtual Professionals, LLC is full of people who find a serious joy in organization. Not only can we supply you full time personal assistants and customer service representatives (CSR certainly takes care of the less urgent emails than you’d like to be getting if you’re a small business), we can teach you how to successfully manage your email time. Be sure to contact us, here, for more information and about our vast range of services!