Email Habits to Ditch for a More Productive Day
Email. It’s revolutionized the way we communicate at work but it’s also added to the volume of messages that we’re sifting through each day. The average business worker receives over 125 emails daily and it’s the most popular communication tool in the workplace, according to a recent report. The result? We’re distracted. In fact, we can spend over two hours a day managing work email, not including the chat and text notifications we get in between. All of this noise is not only causing us stress, it may even be impacting our work performance. So, what can we do? Check out some tips to help you ditch those common email habits for a more productive day.
Be More Conversational
We all do it. We have a lot to say, not enough time to say it in, and the end result is a short email novel that causes the person on the other end to do a double take. Suddenly, we’ve written five paragraphs to get to a point that could have probably been made in one. The next time you’re tempted to act onthis bad email habit, ask yourself if all of the information in your email is really necessary. If it’s not, strip it down to what really matters so that it feels like an actual conversation. You’ll spend less time typing and more time getting things done.
Consider Your Audience
It’s tempting to overuse that Reply All button. Those people are all on that email for a reason, right? Not always. The reality is, not every recipient is critical to your individual message. The next time you’re tempted to click that Reply All button, consider if the person on the other end will find value in what you’re saying and if their response to you is important to the next step in the project. If it’s not, save them the inbox space and bask in the productivity that awaits you.
Have an Inbox Game Plan
Research shows we’re the most productive first thing in the morning. The problem is, many of us use that precious time to respond to and file away emails. Before we know it, we’re mentally exhausted without any meaningful work to show for it. Instead of checking your email as soon as you wake up, take a minute to gather your thoughts, prioritize your workload, and write down an achievable game plan for your day. This way, your email serves as a way to help you accomplish your to-do list without adding to it.
Prioritize What Matters
Our time is precious and with the high volume of emails we’re sent each day, prioritization is key. Unfortunately, we’ve all fallen into the habit of addressing emails as soon they come in, no matter who they’re sent from. The problem is, we could be wasting time responding to our coworker about lunch rather than that urgent email from our boss. If you don’t have a tool to help prioritize your conversations for you, make sure you have a system to address your emails in order of importance. You’ll get to them all — just in the order that’s most critical.
If email is here to stay, ridding ourselves of these bad email habits before they take over our day will help us stay on track. In fact, research has shown that adopting better email habits, like limiting the times you check your messages, can actually reduce stress and help you feel more focused throughout your work day.