Habits – In one way or another, we all have some kind of habit or habits. But let’s talk about the habit that takes away from your business.
It’s very easy to become a workaholic—not feeling your work is ever done and giving a great deal of time to your email can only add to your stress level without even realizing it (especially as entrepreneurs).
One of the worst habits to have is letting your inbox take control.
Improving your email habits can drastically increase your productivity. How? Because it allows more time and energy for you to focus projects that support your clients and strategies that build your business.
Like any new approach, you’ll need to focus on what you’re doing and continually practice until what you focused and practiced on becomes a habit that supports you.
9 Ways to Control Your Inbox
- Schedule specific times to check your emails and resist the temptation to check it more than your scheduled times! It’s a simple step but has a profound effect on productivity.
- Specify the amount of time you’ll spend in your inbox. Checking two or three times a day for 30 minutes is a good start. Turn off your email until the next scheduled time (this was a BIG help for me)!
- Use your first pass through to delete emails that are of no interest at all, the second pass to send straightforward or simple replies, and the third pass to reply to emails that require follow-up actions.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists. Make sure that you’re only receiving things you really want to read and DO take the time to read.
- Empty your inbox every day and keep it that way. Delete most and file the rest. Set up and use the folders feature in your email client (i.e. Gmail, Thunderbird, Outlook). Without question, this takes some time making it a habit!
- Include all of your contact info in your signature line so people don’t email you asking how they can reach you outside of email.
- Stick to one topic, one subject when sending emails. Change the subject line when the conversation turns to another topic and break up multiple topics into separate emails for easy detection and filing.
- Before clicking “Send” count to five. Make sure your email is clear and represents what you really want to say to avoid a lot of back and forth emails later.
- Include in your replies in the original context of the email so you (and others) don’t have to hunt for it later.
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