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How to Minimize Email Overload!

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Email management is one of the #1 issues I run into when helping my clients.  And it’s not surprising; the average professional receives between 50-80 emails a day.  If you don’t have some kind of method or system for processing these messages, you will quickly end up with a backed-up inbox, which creates that constant worry of “What’s fallen through the cracks?!?”
Here are 5 easy things you can do today that will help you slash your daily email load.  And fewer emails to process means more time for others things…like the stacks on your deskJ. 
To begin, sort your inbox by “Sender.” Then:
1. Look for the newsletters or marketing emails you receive on a regular basis and decide if you still really, really want or need them.  If you don’t, then open one and “Unsubscribe” then delete the rest of them.  NOTE: ONLY use the unsubscribe link from senders you know you can trust; i.e., reputable companies or organizations.  

2. Look for emails to “block.”  If you aren’t comfortable or confident in using the “unsubscribe” link from an email OR if you want to block emails from certain people (and you don’t want to tell them to quit emailing you) then just “block” them.  It’s simple: right-click on the email and choose “Junk,” then select “Block Sender.”  These emails should now go directly to your junk folder.

3. Create rules.   Assuming you are using Outlook, it’s super-easy to tell Outlook which emails to automatically file for you.  Best practice is to use the filing rules for emails that don’t necessarily require immediate attention.  For example, I use rules for all of my social media accounts.  All of my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter notices are automatically filed for me in their respective folders.  I know when there have been new posts to the folder because it changes to bold and shows the number of unread posts.  You can use this kind of rule set-up for things like listservs, discussion groups, RSS feeds, vendor/affiliate emails, etc., anything that can wait until you have (or set aside) time to get to it.

4. Proof your message before you send it. Trust me: it is likely you will find you need to make a correction or improvement in 80% of the emails you send. When you send an incomplete email without all of the facts or missing an attachment or when you are too vague about your questions or needs, this generates unnecessary reply emails. 

5.  Don’t check your email so often.  When you are checking and replying to email 20 times an hour, and especially if it’s someone with whom you are friendly, you often get caught up in the back-and-forth of friendly email pings.  Of course, it’s not wrong to be chit-chatty with a friend or co-worker if you have the time.

-- Kimberly Medlock
Posted: 3/26/2013 8:01:17 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: blog, chamber, email, manage, memphis, minimize, productive, productivity

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