Time Management - how do your feel about your email in-box?

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) achenes. Fran...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance you want,” says Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist.

How do feel about your time and the number of emails you receive?

I would be very grateful if you would take part in my poll – you can find it at the top of the column on the right! (Apologies to Kindle Readers – You will need to follow this link

We can spend up to half our working day going through our email inbox. It can make us feel tired, frustrated and unproductive. 

A study has found that one in three office workers suffer from e-mail stress. Apparently one in five people say 50 work-related e-mail messages per day is the magic number before they feel swamped. The effect is even more pronounced for smartphone users -- 37% feel "overwhelmed" by 50 or more work e-mail.  So I’d like to know how the readers of this blog feel.  

Meanwhile, If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is time to take control!

Making a decision the first time you open an email is crucial for effective time management. With thanks to Emma, here is my strategy for managing emails.

The 6 Ds of Email Management
·         Diarise; reserve a set time twice a day to check your emails
·         Decide: quickly whether to reply, archive or delete each message
·         Delete: half of the emails you get can probably be deleted immediately.
·         Do: if the email is urgent or can be completed quickly.
·         Delegate - decide if the email can be better dealt with by someone else.
·         Defer: set aside time at a later date to spend on emails that require longer action.

Be a good colleague – when it comes to sending emails
·        Give every email a clear short, descriptive subject line’
·        Include only a small number of questions or to do requests
·        Make your message easy to read with short paragraphs and bullet points – if you need to include lots of detail put it in an attachment.
·        If you need to have a discussion, pick up the phone rather than generating a long exchange of emails.
·        If your message is urgent then send a text messages or use an instant messaging service like Skype.

Now I'd love to hear about your tips for managing emails and please take part in my poll.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com
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