It may surprise you that on average, we receive, 364 work emails a week? Email is now up there as one of the most problematic areas of our working lives. The pressure has increased tenfold in recent times as many of us have now taken the office home. We have gotten creative in our attempts to replicate our workspaces, and those dining room table spots have never been so in demand.
There is no doubt that email is a great communication tool; the sheer volume can sometimes feel out of control. Its design as a distributor of information but it is also a great distractor. Some productivity gurus speculate it can hamper productivity by some 500%. They suggest working methodically, seeing one email or task through to completion before beginning another instead of jumping all over your inbox.
We have come up with seven effective habits to regain control of your email stress:
1. Don’t be a slave to the inbox
You control your emails. Choose if and when you open them.
2. Put them into perspective
How often are the emails you rush to reply actually require an immediate response? The reality is that if you decided not to answer for a few days, things would still carry on.
3. Choose when you read your emails
Set aside a time or a couple of times a day to read and action emails. By doing this, not only are you reducing your stress levels, but you are also being far more efficient than leaving them open and constantly checking that inbox.
4. Save and file straight away
A good habit to get into if you don’t already; once read and actioned file that email straight away.
5. Process and delete
Delete irrelevant emails. Sort the others into relevance and work on the most important first.
6. Does your inbox resemble your attic?
When you think of your inbox, does it remind you of your attic? Does it contain emails as old as your Christmas decorations or perhaps that old box that you aren’t even sure what’s in it? If the answer is yes, its time for a good clear out.
7. There isn’t a need to panic
If a person needs you urgently, they will call. Just because we live in a digital era, doesn’t mean you are a slave to the keyboard. When your device pings, don’t panic and jump to it.