We're all deluged with emails. It's the way of the world now, so we accept it as normal.
However. There are ways to make your team more productive. They can make slight changes that will make a huge difference.
1. Use email filters
Filters are great and simple to use tools. The benefit? Your team are less likely to be disturbed by lots of everyday emails.
People receive emails that are needed but aren't urgent. A filter moves them straight to a folder to 'file' and then read once they have chance. Or filters can group project emails together so they can be reviewed all in one go. Very handy.
2. Turn off email alerts
Constant interruptions announcing new emails make it difficult to focus. Few messages are really that critical, and if something is urgent, they'll ring.
By finishing a task and then clicking back to emails, your team will be more productive and feel less of a slave to their inbox.
3. Delete (or unsubscribe to) emails without mercy
Don’t read every email that comes in. Scan the subject and sender’s name to see if it’s relevant. Delete press releases, mass emails and sales emails en masse unless something special catches your eye.
And if reading emails on a smart phone, don’t just hit delete, keep them to unsubscribe from later on your laptop/pc. It takes seconds on a computer and then they’re gone forever.
4. Don’t use email for everything
We now send emails to everyone – even just across the office. However, it’s often quicker to talk directly or call. Get your team to buy into this. They’ll get instant answers, it clears up any confusion, prevents to-ing and fro-ing on email and builds rapport. Added bonus - it cuts down on emails too.
5. Handle email at defined times
This isn’t for everyone, but some find it highly useful. How to do it? Allocate 2 or 3 times a day to commit to handling emails. At those times, and only at those times, go through emails. Without interruptions your team will be more productive inbetween times. And again, if anything is urgent, you will get a telephone call.
Try one or more of these tips and join the revolution to stop email taking over.