I was recently asked for a few top tips on how to manage email overload. Here is my reply. What would you add?
The simple answer is to view email differently, to see it for what it is – the communication element of an overall workload management process. Too many people try to use email as a workload management tool in its own right. The more sophisticated answer is to….
develop a workload management process, where email is central but not dominant in the scheme of things.
In Life generally and with email management in particular a comprehensive approach always works better than a few isolated tips or tricks especially gadget based tricks!
My top 3 ‘Get out of Jail’ tips to get people past ‘Go’ and on the road to mastery of their inbox and control of their workload:
1 Do not use the inbox as another To-Do list. In fact only have one To-Do list for each day.
2 Only deliberately go into the inbox to make decisions that will allow you to process each email with one touch based upon the well known Urgency/Importance matrix, and clear the inbox every time you access it.
3 Decide at the start of the day how often you will go into the inbox today based upon your situational assessment of what is going on. Month-end and Quarter-end may mean going in often. Mid month or when things are running relatively smoothly may mean going in less often. I make this decision when deciding what to wear to work that day.
Of course, you can always contact us to tailor a support programme to your needs or book into my 20th Feb 2015 free web Executive Briefing on managing workload, competing priorities and a bulging inbox better with Microsoft Outlook. Reserve your seat here: