Do you have mixed feelings about electronic mail (email)? Email can really be an excellent tool for sharing information, but also frustrating when the box gets over full and people share too much. But heh, what do we expect when more than one-half of the global population (somewhere around 4.3 billion by 2023) has a SEND button close at hand? 1
And SEND they do. By 2021 it is expected that 124.5 billion business emails will be sent/received each day. The average office worker will be receiving/sending 121 messages per day which is a relief until you consider how much time even that much can eat out of your day (multiply it times 3 minutes and POOF! more than half of your day is gone just dealing with email!) 1
Here are five ideas for helping recapture some of that time:
1 Limit how much time you spend reading mail and how frequently you process mail. It is just like the paper mail. There is a certain amount of it that is pure junk and doesn’t deserve your time and the real important stuff doesn’t always float to the top. What’s the first mail the average person reads? The first one on the list, good or bad, important or not...
2 Consider setting up specific times of the day for checking the email, and hope for a few more free minutes later. Spending 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the day may help you re-enter the work environment and remind you of key activities underway.
3 Limit who sends you mail. This can be done by marking mail as junk. Most email applications allow you to do this. It will help reduce the mail, and in some cases where there are repeat offenders it can even get them blackballed off of a site. Think of it as a 'no call' list for email.
4 Clean out your mailbox, at least a little, every time you use it. One of the easiest things to do is to delete junk messages. There is something wonderful about getting rid of 50 email clutter in one swoop. If you delete a message by mistake, there is a good chance you can retrieve it from a delete file (perhaps before the end of the session). Then focus on the more critical or time-burdened stuff. This will help keep it relatively clean but the mail box can grow tremendously over time and get junkie.
4.3 When a mailbox gets really junkie, try resorting the mail by date with the oldest first. It is usually easier to clean older mail because it is less relevant (theoretically). Remove anything that is sensitive (e.g., that has personal information like address, account numbers, etc.) as soon as you can to minimize the spread.
4.6 If you MUST use email that contains sensitive information, consider passwording the file. The password generally hangs with the file through an email process and even a conversion into a different file format. This is NOT the most sophisticated security trick, but the password can be very long and very, very difficult to hack. Software makers will not hack the file if you don’t know the password. So, a password will keep a lot of prying eyes from seeing your data, and should you forget the password, those eyes might be yours. Be sure to send the recipient, perhaps in a separate email message or by phone, the password.
5 Consider organizing the important messages into folders or saving them as files or documents. This provides an opportunity to add identifiable information to the file name that might make identification easier. Consider how you might look for things--by a topic name or project number? Naming email by date may be hopeless if you get very many messages. Typically, email applications have the ability to create folders that can hold message, they have ways that you can save the files offline and give meaningful names to the files, it may even be possible to glob all of the messages related to a particular topic, for instance, into one file.
And finally, don’t assume that email is or will remain private, as once you press SEND you lose total control of where it goes and who sees it. Some applications will let you cancel and retrieve mis-sent mail, but not very many.
1 The Shocking Truth about How Many Emails Are Sent, https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/05/shocking-truth-about-how-many-emails-sent/
Business Retention& Expansion
Entrepreneurs often wear at least 27 hats and have to do many tasks to make a business succeed. Email processing can be one of those hats and take an extraordinary amount of resources out of an already packed schedule!