Over 100 billion emails are sent and received per day, with the majority coming from business email. Though consumer-oriented email is expected to decline in the coming years, business-oriented messaging is expected to rise to 132 billion emails by 2017. For anyone using email to communicate, this is no doubt overwhelming and worrying, as it’s both costly and time-consuming: A McKinsey study estimated that workers spent 28% of their time per week checking and answering email and broken communication due to email distraction and delay of answering messages costs $1.5 billion dollars per year in the United States alone.
With the usage of email increasing, business owners and individuals are discovering the challenges of keeping up. After all, ignoring email for a few hours means coming back to more messages, and answering emails every few minutes means that work doesn’t get done and time is lost. In today’s blog post, we’ll share some useful advice that will help those who feel tied to their email to discover their freedom again and get work done.
Tips for Breaking Free
Articulate your subject line: The quickest way to ensuring that your email gets ignored is a vague subject line. While “hey!”, “please read”, and “urgent” appear to be simple and to the point, they miss the boat on setting the right intention through communication. Make sure your subject lines are coherent and specific so your reader knows exactly what’s being asked of.
Target your message: Make sure everyone on the email you are about to send will find your message relevant. While attention is the currency of today’s digital world, only the correct attention gets the right type of response. Emailing a specific set of colleagues to get something done is always more effective than pinging the distribution list. If need be, address recipients specifically in your email as well so they know to read that line only and understand their next action steps.
Know when to transition your communication: If you’re playing email tag, stop. Nothing takes up more storage than emailing back and forth to figure out how to do a project or set expectations. Instead, set up a phone call or meet face-to-face to discuss details. If you feel like you’re spending more time than you need to in these meetings, set the expectation of a time limit and make them no longer than 30 minutes.
Organize your email: Although a majority of emails can be deleted, you’ll likely have email you want to keep. Many email programs allow for the marking of messages and their placement within folders and sub-folders. By prioritizing, grouping, and sorting email messages into the right folders, you’ll have easier access and greater clarity on where everything is.
For the power email user, applying the right tools to email is just as important as the philosophies to keeping an account from getting out of control. That’s why we suggestMicrosoft Exchange, a critical piece of Office 365 that myhosting.com now provides, which lets businesses and individuals take control of their email from anywhere, anytime. Microsoft Exchange not only lets businesses and individuals manage their email, but also has options for mobile access, built-in security, extra storage, and eDiscovery for identifying and analyzing business data.
Do you have any suggestions on how business owners and individuals can improve their productivity with a heavy email inbox? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.