Email…can you imagine a life without it? Having to CALL people and have conversations? Crazy!
Seriously though, email is convenient and fast and makes running a business from anywhere in the world that much easier. You can communicate with your clients, your subscribers, your suppliers with just a few clicks, and email marketing is still one of the best ways to grow your business.
However if you use it and mange it ineffectively it becomes a huge time suck. Lucky for you, I’ve been managing mental inboxes for 20 years and I’ve got some tips to stop that happening. However before we go any further, the most important bit of advice I’ve got for you today is that in order to love your inbox, you’re going to have to make some changes to your behaviour towards it.
Are you ready? Ok here we go
1. Designated email reading time.
Don’t leave your inbox open all day. Close it down when you’re doing your deep work, make sure your notifications are switched off and only check it during the time you’ve allocated. If, like me, you sometimes get a crazy tight deadline that you need to hit, allocate 10 minutes each hour to check email, that way you still get a good 45 minutes each hour to concentrate.
2. Don’t procrastinate.
When you open an email, if possible, action it/reply straight away. If it’s an email that’s just for info, read it, make notes if you need to and either delete or archive it in a relevant folder. If you can’t respond straight away, let the sender know you’ll get back to them in 24/48 hours and make sure you do!
3. Folders, Folders Folders!
Although the majority of emails can be deleted once read (honestly!) you’ll still want to keep some important emails to refer back to. For this you will need to put some folders into action. Ensure your filing system is labelled simply and clearly, by client or by project perhaps, so you know exactly where to stash stuff. Now let me be clear…this isn’t a place for you to file EVERY SINGLE EMAIL. That defeats the whole point of this exercise!
4. Unsubscribe from the crap!
You don’t absolutely NEED to know that Kurt Geiger’s got a 20% sale do you? Or that Secret Escapes has the perfect holiday for you. Or that the MOT on the car you sold 2 years ago is due. If it’s not relevant to your work, unsubscribe from it. And if you really must know about all the sales and all the cheap flights, then set up a Gmail account and use that for your personal mail.
If you’re reading this and thinking “Holy Forking Shirt Balls, that’s too much…I’m not ready for this!” I hear you. It’s not going to be easy to change habits – if it was, then EVERYONE would have their shit together with emails. But I promise you, it’s worth it when you open Outlook first thing in the morning and you’ve only got 10 new emails instead of 100.
if you need someone to hold your hand through this process, I’d be happy to help x