Emails are a vital part of modern professional life. They’re used to make requests, give instructions, disseminate information, and keep recipients in the loop about important events. But so many people feel like they have too many messages to attend to and not enough time in their workday to attend to them.

Does this sound like you? Do you feel burdened by all the notifications you receive in one day? And do you spend too many hours of your workday on emails alone, to the point that you have little time left for anything else? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, the problem may lie in your email management strategy. Learn to improve your day-to-day email management skills, free up time for other work, and become more productive with these simple tips from Priority Management!

Learn How to Maximise Your Email Client

You may be the type to answer emails from a web browser, and if you only anticipate a few important messages a day, that will work just fine. But one way that you can upgrade your email management skills is to learn how to use a dedicated email client. Using a computer program like MS Outlook will allow you to access more sophisticated email management features than a web account. Some examples include calendaring, search functions, and contacts management. Do read up on the best tricks for using MS Outlook so that you know how to maximise this innovative and time-saving email client.

Compartmentalise Your Accounts

Another email management tactic you can employ is to designate different email accounts for different purposes. It can go beyond creating separate accounts for your personal messages and your work messages. You can, for example, create accounts to receive department-specific or project-specific emails, instead of ones that you have to answer on your own behalf. You can even set up a boilerplate email account to receive newsletters, sales promotions, and other messages that don’t require active responses. Redirecting your messages in this way will not only save you a lot of time, but will also relieve some of the mental exhaustion that you get when wading through different types of emails.

Set Aside a Time for Checking Emails

When you start your workday, one of the first things you’re likely to do is to open your inbox. On top of answering the messages that are already there, you might give in to the compulsion to answer incoming emails in real-time. This is alright if you are expecting urgent correspondence from someone, or if the messages pertain to a time-sensitive task. But if they don’t, it’s better to decide on a particular part of the day to answer them, like after lunch or one hour before you clock out. That way, you don’t sacrifice the rest of the day just trying to catch up on your messages.

Identify Your Most Time-sensitive Emails

Yet another way to master email management is to learn how to prioritise which ones you will respond to. The sooner you remember that some messages are more important than others, the better you will be at staying productive when managing your inbox. Make it your goal to attend to the most urgent and most time-sensitive threads first before dealing with the others. Save the rest for later in the day, or later in the week, when you’ve attended to your priorities.

Choose Which Notifications to Turn On

Notifications can be extremely helpful in getting you to respond to emails promptly. But receiving too many of them at a time can distract you and, ultimately, keep you from being productive. Just like choosing which messages to prioritise, you can also choose which inboxes deserve your full attention. You can turn the notifications on for urgent messages, like those that go through your primary work or personal account, and disable notifications for the accounts you seldom open. Doing so will free up some crucial mental bandwidth, which you can pool towards your productivity instead.

Ask to Be Excluded from Unnecessary Group Emails

One other thing that may be consuming more mental bandwidth than necessary is group threads. Even the messages that aren’t meant for you can take up your attention and distract you from other tasks. With that in mind, if you receive too many emails as part of group correspondence, and you feel as if you’re not immediately concerned, politely ask the sender to exclude you from the thread. This will prevent your inbox from getting clogged up and help you focus on the tasks that you are directly involved in.

Learn More About Mastering Your Emails with our Priority Management Courses.

To learn even more about how to use an email client, how to save time with your emails, and how to be productive from your inbox, consider taking a Priority Management course. One of our most popular offerings is our WorkingSm@rt using MS Outlook course. Enrolling in this class will help any professional in any industry master the art of email management. Take full control of your inbox and use it to achieve even greater levels of productivity!