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Tips to Avoid Living in Your In-box November 11, 2007

Posted by Tariq Ahmed in General.
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If you have email, and any decent position in an organization, there’s a high chance that you receive so much email that you could literally live in your in-box all day long. Perhaps managing the communication is your only job, but if you’ve got other things to do, here are some tips for not living in your in-box:

  • Shut your email client off for blocks of time.
  • Ignore new emails until you’ve completed specific tasks (broken up into 30min to 1 hour time periods)
  • Block out periods of time for working on your calendar so others know you’re busy and will not expect an instant reply.
  • Create the expectation in your company/department that if someone needs a reply within 30 min, they should be using the phone or an IM system.
  • Try to manage the amount of email everyone creates. For every CC/group that is included, the employee should ask himself or herself “do they really need to receive this email?”
  • Encourage descriptive subject lines and opening paragraphs so employees spend less time scanning the email looking for the “what’s in it for me?” content when the email doesn’t directly concern them.
  • Terminate an employee that uses “*All Outlook Users”. If anyone responds to that email in the same manner, electrocute him or her.

Consider the above tips so you can spend more time being productive vs. reading 20 replies about something that doesn’t even concern you.

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