How to manage your email

Managing your email rather than letting it manage you is one of today’s business challenges.  Different tactics work for different people and  some of these have come as tips from attendees at Highflyingdivas or The Leadership Forum.  Tips include:

1. Only deal with your email once a day, otherwise it distracts you from any of your main tasks.  No-one knows when you clock on or off and if it is really urgent, the sender will find you.  This tip stops you from frittering your day away in a ping-pong exercise of mails.  If you can’t train yourself to once a day, then keep it to 3 times at most.

2.  Related to 1. if you have some main tasks, don’t open your email until you have completed them.  You won’t get distracted and will ensure the important and urgent are completed.

3. Take action on the email content immediately, thereby keeping your To Do list to a minimum and clearing the backlog.  Allow time to open and clear emails.

4.  Keep your inbox to a minimum by opening and either flagging or putting items into folders for subsequent attention.  A Reading folder could hold items that you look at when you are waiting or on the train.  Sound advice if you do indeed open up those folders and allocate time for the flags, so plan and allow time for this activity.

5.  Switch off the automatic alert system that tells you when a new email has arrived e.g. messenger, livemail etc.  It can be too tempting to take a look and get distracted.

So, what works for you?  All, some, none of the above or do you have others?

The Week:  Met with Laura from concerning my campaign on Monday and then attended the Cass Business School’s NHS Non-Executive Director Programme in relation to my NED role with CECS.  Enlightening discussions on the future of the NHS, GP Commissioning and Foundation Trusts.  Friday was a catch-up day planning for the London Highflyingdivas Forum on the 17th and the Chelmsford one on the 24th May.

Reading for the week.  I have received two recommendations for this book “The Fish Rots From The Head” by Bob Garratt who states that Directors are the main custodians of an organisation and it is their governance that should keep the business legal,, safe and meetings its objectives.

Lighter Reflections.  Staying away this week gave me the opportunity to again wonder at how other people manage to travel so light, a small backpack for 3 nights away, whilst I lug my trundling “home-from-home” around on its squeaky perfectly inadequate little wheels.  I know that I am ambitious in that I will often pack swimsuit, trainers and full running gear (including 3 lengths of running top plus rain jacket and thermals).  This intention then means that I have to bring my mini hair-salon collection of shampoos (chlorine-protective, sun-protective and normal) to mix and match with my decisions.  Of course, I will then allow myself the cooked breakfast, 3 course lunch and 3 course dinner in anticipation of using said gear.  Chances are though that they only airing any of them receive is as I lift them out to shuffle them around whilst I search for the third pair of shoes I packed.  I will of course have to put all my gear in the wash on my return just so the family doesn’t suspect I did nothing but eat and stay up late drinking in the bar. Guess I just need a larger suitcase!

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About RosemaryCC

Leadership Coach and Management Consultant helping you to clarify your goals and achieve success in your career or business. Also founder of Highflyingdivas and the Leadership Forum
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2 Responses to How to manage your email

  1. jsd0958 says:

    Excellent advice Rosemary. I have got as far as switching off my automatic updates and only call e-mails down on demand, but the still come onto my i-phone!

  2. Good tips. Email can swamp you if you don’t manage it.

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