E-mail is a great business tool and has gradually become absolutely essential for most of us over the last fifteen years. However, it is a huge time sink and can have a negative effect on your productivity. If you are finding that it eats away at your work schedule and distracts you from more important tasks, the following tips may be helpful.
Use the built-in filters that come as standard in most mail management software. Configure it so incoming mail has to be checked to ensure it isn’t spam. The software will then dump anything it considers to be spam into a ‘Junk Mail’ folder – remember to check this folder occasionally because the filter is not infallible and mistakes will sometimes happen.
Just because you receive a new message, it doesn’t mean that you immediately have to read it. Doing this can completely interrupt your flow of work and stop you from getting anything finished. If your mail software announces every time you receive a new message, consider turning this feature off.
The best way of dealing with e-mail, particularly if you regularly receive a high volume that needs answering, is to set aside periods during the day specifically for dealing with them. Try to arrange it so that e-mail does not impede on your most productive work hours.
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