Restrain the Email Beast
In the 1950s, when consumer electronics such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines loomed, there was an assurance that household chores would be done in a fragment of time.
We know now it didn’t work out that way. Our interpretation of clean changed. Instead of wearing a t-shirt for multiple days, we started using a fresh pair every day, and so the amount of washing required increased. In short, technology empowered us to do more, not less.
Our work environments have pursued a similar path. Tools such as email permitted us to communicate more, rather than make life easier. In fact, many people are now overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive.
The Problem Of Email
“Email has changed our expectations of communication, Moreover, We feel we need to be available all the while. We are tied to our email-enabled devices, and check emails every time there is a beep !
Going offline doesn’t seem like a good solution, As web designers we do not just build websites, We also provide essential services to our clients. Therefore, keeping the clients happy can only happen with routine communication.
Clients need constant encouragement that their project is in hand, and they need continual tracking to provide the feedback and contributions we require to do our job.
Like it or not, email is a necessary evil. But that doesn’t mean it can overpower us. We can tame the beast, and it all starts by doing less.
Doing significantly less with emails, while still efficiently communicating with our clients and colleagues is absolutely possible.
You apparently don’t need to send out nearly as many emails as you do. You could almost assuredly reduce the number of people you copy in your emails. Remember that the more email you send out, the more email you will get back. It’s that simple.
Email is not always the best form of communication. A face-to-face meeting or a phone call is usually much more effective..
If you want to receive more concise emails, start writing emails that are to the point yourself. The less you write in emails, the less people will write in reply
You might feel that short emails are less friendly and come across as cold, but these problems can be worked around.Writing shorter emails, makes it clear to clients that you keep your emails short because you value their time.
An even easier option is to adopt the “Sent from my phone” signature that many people use these days, a good excuse for getting to the point.
Being friendly and personable with clients is important. But email is not the place to do that. If you want to chat, pick up the phone.
Receive Less Email
The easiest way to cut down on replies is to tell people that they do not need to reply. Putting abbreviations such as NRN (no reply necessary) or FYI (for your information) in the subject line will help with this. But that won’t stop unsolicited email.
Most of us get a lot of spontaneous email, despite the excellent spam filters that most email services provide. These emails are often newsletters that we’ve never subscribed to or announcements from companies from which we once made a purchase. Regardless of whether we ever did agree to receive these emails, they are now cluttering our inbox.
Deleting these emails is not a solution. But take the time to find the “Unsubscribe” link, because these companies will not contact you just once. They will email you again and again until you stop them.
However you do it, unsubscribing from mass emails will dramatically reduce your load.
Organizing Your Email
Most of the people are used to making the emails more complicated than it really is, the reason being they are unorganized. The biggest culprits are those who never move email out of their inbox.
A cluttered inbox usually makes the job messy, because people will intend to take time to figure out what needs to dealt with and what has been read, etc..
Inbox is where your email arrives, but it shouldn’t stay there. Rather, clear your inbox every time you open your email client. You don’t necessarily have to perform on every email right away — just read it and decide what to do with it next.
You have five options upon reading an email:
- Act on it.
If you have time to act on the email rapidly, then do so. This could mean responding or completing a task, but don’t feel tempted to act immediately if you have major priorities in hand first.
- Defer it.
If you are busy to deal with an email immediately, no issues, Just convert it into a task that sits on your task manager, You can deal with it later in your own time.
- File it.
The emails that require no particular action, but merely provide useful information, Archive the posts for the future reference. With today’s powerful search tools, there is little need to tag it or add it to a folder. But do move it out of the inbox.
- Delete it.
If the email is spam or has no long-term value, delete it.
- Delegate it.
Some emails require action, but you might not be the best person to do it. In those cases, delegate the task by forwarding the email to the relevant person.
You might be daunted by the prospect of having to process all of those emails gazing back at you in your inbox. This might all seem like too much work. I promise you it will be worth it.
Archive everything except this week’s email. If any emails from more than a week ago haven’t been addressed yet, replying to them now would probably be too late anyway.
Having all the emails archived, will leave you with a manageable load. Go through each email and decide what to do with it. If you get a lot of email, this could take some time, but it will be worth it. Remember, that you do not need to act on everything rapidly. The trick is to process everything out of your inbox. Do that and I promise you will never look at email with the same dismay again.