Imagine life without email.  Do you feel calmer?  It’s hard to visualize a workday without the relentless demands of new emails and the pressure to respond within hours.   How can you handle emails efficiently?  Here are some tips.

How Email Wastes Your Time

A survey by Robert Half shows that CFOs across the country believe that 17% of work emails are a waste of time.  Here’s the breakdown of those unwanted messages:

  • 39% Spam
  • 27% Being copied on irrelevant messages
  • 19% Receiving messages that could be better delivered another way
  • 15% Long, rambling messages
  • 1% Don’t Know

What about you?  Your Inbox can be filled with unclear messages from colleagues, random “Cc” messages, unwanted newsletters, too many LinkedIn group notifications, and the list goes on.

You can control spam with filters and use rules to help organize your messages.  From there, make sure you and your team write emails strategically to help you be more efficient. 

Write Strategically and Handle Emails Efficiently

When you write strategically, you’re more likely to get a clear response.  You’ll help avoid “back-and-forth” emails and get through your Inbox faster.   Here’s how:

  1. Write a descriptive subject line. Tell your recipient what the email is about.  Be direct and to the point.
  1. Be brief and clear. Think journalistically – include the who, what, when, where, why and how at the beginning.  Don’t make recipients hunt for the purpose of the email and what you expect of them.  Try to keep to one topic.
  1. Use “Cc” sparingly. Does the person you’re copying need to take action or is the email for information only?  Be especially careful before you hit “Reply All”.  Don’t be an unintentional spammer.
  1. Keep a business-like tone. Sometimes firing off a quick “yes” or “no” response is fine.  In other cases, you may need to use a bit more finesse.  Always remember that an email is like a postcard, not a letter, and don’t write anything that would embarrass you if it became public.
  1. Respond promptly. When you can respond immediately with a quick answer or delegate the email, do it right away.

With some strategic thinking and writing, you can get control of your Inbox and handle emails efficiently. 

If you’re considering outsourcing your business IT, contact CRU Solutions