Ten tips to make email more productive

Ever been overwhelmed by emails at work? Experts report billions of emails
are sent every day and they’re still increasing. With so many messages
arriving throughout the day, email can easily become a continual interruption
and distraction from getting real work  accomplished. Here are some useful tips
that will help give you more control over your time and increase your efficiency.

1 Put email on a schedule

Instead of reading and responding to emails as they arrive, set aside
specific times of day for them. This can vary from one to three or four times
a day, depending on your situation. If you’re in the habit of monitoring
your email continually it may take extra effort to change your behavior,
but once you do you’ll soon find yourself getting more accomplished.
2 Get set-up for success
Once you’ve established specific times for email, set-up some new rules
for your email application to help. Instead of automatically checking for
new messages every minute, adjust your application to check at a more
appropriate interval. You can also disable delivery previews and sounds to
reduce email’s intrusion into your productivity.
3 Read it and deal with it
Some messages are simply information, but others require action. Make
a renewed effort to deal with emails as you read them—reply, file, delete,
or print. If you don’t, you’ll end of up reading the same message two or
more times. In fact, if you know in advance that an email will take some
concentrated effort, don’t read it until you have the time to deal with it.
4 Put the subject line to work
When you write an email, take a moment to ensure the subject line is as
clear and complete as possible. For example, “Need feedback on Jones
Sales Presentation (attached) by Friday” is much more productive than
simply “Sales Presentation Review.”
5 Make the subject the message
When your message is very short use the subject line for the entire
message. For example, “Reminder: Feedback on Jones Sales Presentation
Due Today (EOM).” Use End of Message (EOM) so recipients know the
body of the email is blank and won’t waste time opening it.
6 Keep your message focused
When most people read on-screen they tend to scan. Big blocks of text
discourage readers and information is more easily overlooked. Keep your
emails short, to-the-point, and clear. Here are some tips to help:
• Add a space between paragraphs
• Use bullet points to improve readability
• List action items (with names)
• Use separate emails for disparate topics

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