Email Habits That Cost You Valuable Time

February 5th, 2015

email-habits-costEmail is a valuable tool to any business. It is used by everyone and has become the top communication method used by people worldwide. However, from time to time it has also become a great source of frustration for users who feel overwhelmed by the vast amounts of data that arrive in their inbox. There are steps you can follow to take control of your email inbox so you stop wasting your valuable time sorting email and devote more time to other matters that are vastly more important to business.

Overflowing Your Inbox with Too Much Information
Many people like to stay on top of everything, but subscribing to too many newsletters or email notifications will quickly fill your inbox with information you don’t need, forcing you to sort through it on a regular basis so your box doesn’t overflow. Subscribe to those newsletters and notifications you know are mission critical and consider creating rules to sort them automatically to keep your inbox from bursting with too much information. Letting messages run wild makes it difficult for you to find real emails that need your attention.

Using Email for Everything
So much happens through email today, but you must ask yourself if it is really necessary. In some cases the answer is yes, as the paper trail is good to have. However, in other instances you could accomplish the same thing in a fraction of the time simply by using chat applications or even picking up the phone and calling the person you are about to email.

Writing Long Emails
Writing long email takes valuable time away from other more important tasks. Brevity and clarity are as important as good grammar when composing a message. Remember, most people don’t want to spend huge amounts of time reading your long emails. Consider keeping your emails short and to the point so you can get on with other more important work.

Spending Too Much Time in Your Inbox
You don’t need to dive into your email every couple of minutes; spending too much effort in organizing your inbox will waste valuable time that could be devoted to other projects. Balance is key here. Consider checking your email at slightly longer intervals and devote only a few minutes to organization, or you could find your whole day has vanished as you attempt to place every email in a specific location.

Never Archiving or Deleting
While many users want to keep every single email they ever receive, the truth is most of these emails aren’t important and serve only to clutter up an inbox and make it difficult to find other, more important correspondence. Instead of saving everything, delete any email that is not business critical and regularly archive your email for those rare cases where you must access them. This will result in a much cleaner inbox that is easy to search and navigate so you can send off those emails much faster than before.

Email won’t be going away any time soon, and it is still one of the best tools for conducting business. It can overwhelm you, however, and make it difficult to actually conduct business. Following these few easy steps will help you organize your email once and for all.

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