Keep Email In Check

31 Days of Home Office Organizing TipsTip #26: Keep Email In Check

(Part of the 31 Days of Home Office Organizing Tips)

Are you running your email inbox, or is it running you?  With so much information to keep on top of these days, it’s easy to get bogged down in your inbox.  Many people become a slave to the inbox, which isn’t very productive (or fun).  So, how can you keep your email in check without becoming it’s endentured servant?  Here’s a few tips:

  • Respond and delete. I picked up this handy little tip when I interviewed Peter Shankman (who deals with a lion’s share of email!).  Respond to an email and then delete.   The recipient will probably respond, and your previous email will be attached.   (If you use Gmail or Google Apps, it will also be in your “Sent” folder.)
  • Turn off the automated “check”. Do you really need to know if you have a new email every 30 seconds?  Chances are you don’t.   Turn off your email-check-auto-pilot and ….
  • Check email 2-3 times per day. Checking email a couple times a day helps you focus on the task at hand.  Set aside about 30 minutes to process your email, and then shut ‘er down.  Then, go focus on what you need to be doing.
  • Auto-responders aren’t just for vacation. Ever set up an auto-responder when you took a vacation?  Why not use them to communicate your email “policy”?  If you’re thinking of trying the above tip, and are a bit nervous, use an auto-responder.  Something simple, like “Thank you for your email.  I only check email twice a day.  If you have an urgent need, please call me at 123-456-7890.  Otherwise, I will return your email with 48 hours.  Thank you.”

How do you keep your email in check?

(Want more tips? Pick up my ebooklet, “101 Tips for Your Home Office” HERE.)

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