10 tips for dealing with email effectively
LawCare's latest article offers tips to make the most of your ‘email time’.
- Disable notifications: To avoid distractions disable notifications and schedule times during the day to deal with emails. You could use automatic reply even when in the office indicating email is checked periodically.
- Manage your inbox: Keep only items to be dealt with in your inbox. Move everything else into relevant folders, or use categories or flags so that you can find them easily.
- Save in draft: To prevent the stress of accidentally sending an email before it’s complete, don’t type the address into the ‘To’ field until you are quite sure the email is ready to send.
- Stay relevant: Change the email subject line as conversations progress, so that it is easy to find if you need to refer to it later.
- Keep your cool: Stop and think before sending an email, especially when angry, stressed or busy. You might want to send to yourself or save in draft first.
- Delegate responsibility: Ask not to be copied in on all your team’s emails and think twice about using ‘reply all’ yourself!
- Out of office: Set an out of office at weekends and while you are on holiday and stick to it – if you are worried about an avalanche of emails when you get back you can ask for emails to be resent after a certain date.
- Email policy: We spend 20-25 hours a week monitoring our smartphones outside the office. If your organisation doesn’t have an email policy then look into how you might develop one, encouraging colleagues not to check or reply to emails outside core working hours.
- Stay focused: Don’t confuse activity with achievement where email is concerned. Working with your inbox open is akin to having your office door open to the street, inviting interruptions at any point. Once distracted it can take up to 25 minutes to fully refocus.
- Get an alarm clock: Don’t keep your phone by your bed – leave it in another room.
For a paper copy of LawCare’s email tips or any other leaflets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other information and emotional support is available on the LawCare website, call the helpline on 1800 991 801 or use their webchat service.
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 member eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, visit eNewsletters.