Sending emails has become a quick and easy way to communicate with people around us. But now email inboxes are becoming overloaded with all types of messages. Companies treat their inboxes as storage areas, meeting notes, contract agreements and task lists. According to McKinsey Global Institute, people spend 28% of their work week (or 13 hours) reading, deleting, sorting and sending emails.
Emails have become a distraction to our workdays and prevent us from focusing on the tasks at hand. Do you ever wonder where your day went and feel like you have not accomplished the things you wanted to for the day? Have you thought about how much time you spend checking your emails and responding to every request?
As one of the first things we do in the mornings, we check our emails to find out what projects or tasks are due, what the priorities are for the day or what meetings to attend. But checking our emails has become a huge distraction. It keeps us from focusing on the tasks at hand and staying engaged in those tasks. People have come to expect instant responses from email communication. Therefore, we feel obligated to continually check our emails to make sure we aren’t missing something.
Here are a few things that help you stay focused on your projects:
- Set up email filters in your mailbox so that less important emails go into these folders and you can read them at a later time
- Set a time limit for reading and checking your emails. This will help to organize your day and have enough time to complete your projects. Pick a time that works for you, such as 11am-12pm each day.
- Check your emails if you are looking for specific information. Otherwise, turn off your notifications so that they are not taunting you to open your mail. Better yet, close out of your email program until your designated time frame for checking emails.
Keeping a clean inbox is also important for being efficient. Once you read an email, decide if you need to respond to that email, file it away in a folder or delete it. Don’t let emails pile up and take up unnecessary storage space. If you need assistance in setting up folders or filters, River Run Computers will help you manage this process!