Is email simply a tool you use for communication or is your inbox running your business? All too often we fall into the habit of creating our daily to-do list based on the messages we have waiting rather than managing the real priorities that our business requires. You can increase your productivity by avoiding your inbox for the first hour of your work day and allow yourself the freedom to think about what you really need to accomplish during your day. Instead of dealing with your email as the most important thing you do, use that first hour on planning your day with setting tangible goals in mind. There is a hierarchy to communication that will help you implement a manageable plan of action. Phone calls first, text messages second and email last. Usually this order prioritizes what your clients see as important and allows you better control of your time and productivity. I remember reading somewhere, years ago, that email was never meant to be immediate. So why do a few unread messages sitting in our inbox overwhelm everything else we need to do? Give yourself a break from the morning email routine you’ve fallen into and you’ll dramatically improve your daily productivity. Here’s some handy email tips to consider:
Use the subject line to highlight the reason for the email
At the end of the email note a time which you would like a response and by what method (phone, text or email) depending on the urgency
Don’t reply to email with a one-word response. Saying simply “OK” might not be enough to insure you fully understand the message.
Be sure to answer all the questions in the email to avoid multiple emails on the same subject
Keep your messages easily legible, use just text of one colour and one size. You can’t be certain if the email will be read on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone
The most successful people allow themselves to manage their communications, not their communications managing them.