6 Best Practices for Taking Control of Your Email Inbox
Tackling email is a big task in today’s busy offices. The average office worker receives 121 emails each day. Even if you utilize organizational tricks such as filtering and labeling emails, you still aren’t limiting the number of legitimate emails that you receive each day.
To help you finally gain control over your email inbox, here are several best practices you can implement immediately:
1. Encourage the use of chat tools.
Free chat tools such as Facebook Messenger are being used more frequently in the workplace to carry on brief conversations. If you find that you’re getting into single-word email exchanges with people, divert the conversation to one of your chat tools to prevent buildup in your email inbox. To encourage the use of chat tools, list them above your email address on your contact page.
2. Enforce the 3-email rule.
According to the 3-email rule, if it’s going to take more than 3 emails to communicate your message, pick up the phone. Being selective about responding to emails will teach people that it’s better to call you to communicate.
3. Schedule time for email.
Instead of checking email incessantly throughout the day, set specific times for viewing your email inbox (first thing in the morning and before you leave the office for the evening, for example). Block out time at the end of the day to respond to emails. If not responding to emails immediately causes you some anxiety, create an auto-response that makes recipients aware of when they can expect a response from you. Pressing issues should be addressed via the phone.
4. Encourage note taking.
Ask your employees to take notes when you’re explaining an upcoming project. This will considerably reduce the number of follow-up questions that come to you in the form of email.
5. Have an open-door policy.
If employees perceive you as approachable, they’ll be more likely to pick up the phone or stop by your office to ask a question rather than send you an email.
If you receive an excessive number of emails throughout the day, give a teammate account privileges to help you manage your email inbox.
By putting these productivity tactics into practice, you’ll be able to gain control of your email inbox and accomplish more during your workday.