You know very well that when used correctly, email can be a productivity tool
- Allow you to manage the flow of information that comes at you more efficiently
- Field requests at the times most convenient for you
- Store records of important details and decisions
However, email can also harm your productivity instead of helping it.
Look at these big ways email can slow you down and make you less productive.
Are you guilty of any of these?
- Reading every news article someone sends you
Just because a news article shows up in your in-box, it doesn’t have a higher claim on your time than your other priorities.
Too often, you may end up spending time reading everything friends and colleagues suggest – whether it’s the best use of your time, relative to everything else on the plates.
- Not deleting anything
Does your in-box contain thousands of messages-junk email, outdated invitations to meetings, funny memes your friends forwarded you, and your manager’s out-of-office reply from her/his vacation last summer?
You’re sure to lose track of emails you need to act on.
Start deleting, or at least placing them in appropriate Folders (for easy retrieving).
- Not organizing things by folders
You may be losing track of important messages and struggling to find older emails when you need to reference them later.
Folders organized by topic or by the needed action like
- To read
- To act on
- To follow up
- As and when time allows (no priorities)
- Checking email every time you have a new message
The new message alerts can make you automatically stop what you’re doing and check to see what new email has arrived.
Do not be a slave to these interruptions, consider turning off the message alerts.
Check email only at set intervals.
- Emailing and then calling or coming by in person to make sure your message was received
Part of the point of sending email is that it allows the other person to respond when it’s convenient for them – and/or to read over your messages and think about it before responding.
If you follow up email with an in-person visit, you’re negating that benefit and spending your time delivering a message twice (as well as probably annoying your coworkers).
You may set ‘’send receipt’’ button before sending such emails.
Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise