Is your inbox overflowing?
How does a busy woman stay on top of email without falling beneath its weight and volume? Here are a few quick and fast rules to control inbox clutter instead of it controlling you.
* Delete all junk email without opening. Do not waste your time.
* Touch an email only once if possible. Do you recall this tip from snail mail organization? It works the same for cyber mail too. If the email requires thought or additional time to gather information, respond with a quick reply. Some advise closing the email and letting it sit with no response until you are ready. This is ignoring the issue and while not professional, it will just result in further problems down the road. Even if it involves a difficult situation, a quick response can be as simple as:
“Thank you for your email. Let me think on this issue and get back with you in _______.”
Be honest and state your response time in terms of hours, days, or months. Save the email as new and move on to the next one. The sender will appreciate your courtesy and you will have the time you need.
* When composing a difficult email never, ever put any address in the Send To box other than your own. How many horror stories have we heard of entire address books receiving private correspondence or someone receiving an email that was more about letting off steam than finding a solution? By placing your email address in the Send To box you will safeguard against any slip. It will allow you the time to compose, edit, and tweak priority emails without worry. Any slip will find the email back in your inbox and not everyone else’s.
* When time is tight, save all blog and newsletter emails to folder called To Read. This will clean out your email box and place reading material in one location for easy retrieval.
* If email requires the input of others who are in the information loop, save time by copying your reply to those involved instead composing numerous separate emails.
By responding quickly and using the delete button liberally, you will bring order to a overflowing inbox and put yourself back in charge.