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Is Your Email a Productivity Killer?

Is Your Email a Productivity Killer? Plus How to Fix That NOW!Do you avoid looking at your email inbox for fear that it will suck you in ?

Or do you get sucked into email first thing in the morning?

Have you missed an important deadline or project simply because you didn’t reply to an email?

Yes, email is a amazing tool to use and in this day and age, helps you stay connected, literally at the touch of a button. However, it is also, probably the biggest productivity killer known. Seriously.

Here is how to find out if your email is killing off your productive time, slowly and steadily:

1. Your emails are too long.

2. Your inbox is overflowing.

3. You always seem to be replying to someone or the other.

4. You send a lot of email.

5. You send everything via email.

That’s right. If you’ve been doing any of these, chances are you are spending way too much time in your inbox than is actually needed.

Now, let’s see how to fix this, shall we?

1. Sort Out Your Inbox

Begin by sorting out your inbox. This is probably the step that will take you the longest time but make you the happiest as well. Whether you set up folders or process your inbox to zero, choose a method that works for YOU and stick with it.

Read:

Organise Your Inbox for Greater Productivity on The Organised Housewife

5 Simple Steps for Getting to Inbox Processed, Not Inbox Zero on The Mogul Mom

2. Use Email Powerfully but Productively

Yes, email is a powerful and productive tool, should you choose to use it so. A few ways to do this include:

  •  Being brief and to the point when sending or replying to emails.
  • Using Gmail’s Canned Responses when replying to frequently asked questions or when sending out the same sort of email to a lot of people, such as media pitches.
  • Actioning your email – archive, reply or trash it. Don’t let it sit in your inbox. Star or flag it if you need to come back to it after checking with someone else.

3. Have Email Office Hours

Seriously, I know first hand how tempting it is to check your email every minute of the day. What with smartphones and tablets making it even easier to do so. So, set email office hours. Whether it is an hour in the morning and evening or 30 minutes thrice a day, schedule it and STICK to it. Really, it will be difficult in the beginning {ask me how I know!} but once you do this, you will actually SEE how much time you save through the day.

Read:

How to Check Email Twice a Day or … Once Every 10 Days on The Blog of  Tim Ferriss

How to Stop Checking Email on the Evenings and Weekends on LifeHacker. Again, a post by Mr. Ferriss, though **smiling**

4. Don’t Respond to Every Email

Finally, remember that not every email needs a response. This one, too, was hard for me to deal with but it came with time. Some instances of emails I don’t reply to include:

  • Mass emails sent out to by PR to bloggers
  • An email in response to an email I’d sent. But only if the aforesaid email closes the issue/case.
  • Emails that can be replied to either when you talk to the person on the phone or chat with via Skype/Facebook/Twitter. I will be on these social networks as well so might as well tell them that I got their email, and thanks.

Yes, email can be happily married to productivity and you can do it. Ready to try it?

Is your email killing off your productivity? How will YOU be fixing this? Share with me in the comments!

Prerna


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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have a lot of trouble with email. It seems like every evening before bed I get sucked into email. I will definitely be using some of these tips!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Sara! I am so glad you found the tips helpful.. Yes, it is so easy to get sucked into the blackhole of email.. Do keep me posted about your progress:-)

  2. Sorry I don’t visit as I should…your posts are always packed with valuable info. This one, especially, spoke to me..yes, my inbox is OVEFLOWING. I will read the articles you gave links for and hopefully, the next time I come by, I will not be drowning in emails.:)

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Vivian! Happy to see you here and please don’t apologize.. I know how busy life is:-) I am so glad that the post helped you and hope that it will empower you to get your inbox under control:-)

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