Be Brave :: Engage in Taming the Beast of the Inbox
January 6, 2019
“A five minute call replaces the time it takes to read and reply to the original email and read and reply to their reply… or replies. And I no longer spend 20+ minutes crafting the perfect email – no need to.” Simon Sinek
Do you have a resolution to not be owned by the emails in your inbox? Just pressing DELETE ALL is not an option! I have a colleague who has zero emails in her inbox… yes ZERO emails in her inbox at the end of the day and she is one of the most focused and calm people I know. Me, on the other hand, prior to going on a vacation, I work hours extra to sort through emails and prioritize work for my return and I end up with zero emails in my inbox too. But then I return after a holiday, the inbox is again full, and the email inbox monster is back, running my life.
I think it’s important to look at your emails in a different light. Emails are notifications, requests, and information from your colleagues and clients. Waiting too long to get back to someone sends a message – either they’re not that important to you, or you’re not that organized. So, if you agree with me on that and want to manage your email, here are some things I’ve been working on that have allowed me to see greater success in taming the Beast of the Inbox!
I’ve made addressing emails in my inbox a priority and a part of my workday ritual at the start and end of each day, and it’s starting to work in that I’m clearing out emails by addressing them in a timely manner. My goal each afternoon is to have addressed each email in the inbox, which is sometimes not possible due to work load and other pressures. Then first thing the next day, any email that has come in overnight is dealt with. If you can keep on top of the enormous quantities of emails and addressing them, it will go a long way to make things more manageable, plus you’ll be better able to respond to clients’ needs. I suggest as well looking at the emails you get from companies trying sell you things – maybe it’s time to click UNSUBSRIBE on a few of them.
Batch Client Emails
There are times where multiple people from a company or organization we work with send emails requesting work or getting back to us on projects. This is where we’ll batch these emails so we work on that client’s needs, or organize their work flow for the future, at one time. This keep us from jumping from client to client, and project to project, making us feel less “SQUIRREL!” and get focused.
Pick up the Phone
If a client has emailed us a few times with a few different requests, or has a super long email that has a few key points that need to be addressed, we either fire off a request for a 15 minute phone meeting with them to discuss their needs or pick up the phone and call. It saves time, money, and you have a chance to connect better with your customer so they know you actually read their emails aka you care.
Hire a Virtual Assistant or Executive Assistant
It’s a big decision to hire a VA or EA, but honestly, if you can get someone who understands your work flow and projects you’re working on, they can meet with you on the emails that need your attention to find out next steps and address those emails for you. This could, depending on your role in a company and available budgets, be a game changer for you.