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Email time management tips

man writing email time management tipsLast week I shared four email time management tips to help you tame your email inbox.

This week I’m sharing five more and I’d love to hear what is working for you!

How do you manage your time with email and ensure productivity is top of your list?

Take Action!

You can only do something when you have a set action to take.

For example, don’t finish your emails with open ended questions such as “How should we move forward?” or “What are your thoughts?”

Be much more directive such as “Shall we follow up by a) telephone b) meeting up or c) keeping out of it?!”

Make a date

How many times have you gone back and forth with an email trying to make an arrangement to meet?

Instead of “When shall we meet?” or “We must book a meeting soon” or “Can we have a chat next week to get your input on the meeting?” try saying “Send me three dates and times this week that are convenient for you” or send the recipient three times in the coming week when you are available for them to choose from.

Be clear

If you need someone to do something, write it as a recap at the end of their mails so they’re not second guessing you. It might take a little longer for you, but it means you’ll get a more helpful response. It’s like investing time now to save more later.

Contact options

Include your phone number and other contact information in the signature of your email. Email is not always the best way to be in contact; often the recipient may prefer to call you, send a quick tweet confirmation or IM you on Skype for a five minute chat.

By putting all the relevant information in your email, you’ll save time for everyone.

Great, thanks!

This one of my biggest bugbears: writing, sending, receiving, opening and reading emails that say something like “Great, thanks!” are one of the biggest time wasters.

We’re all grown ups and I don’t think we need emails like this. It reminds me of being on the phone to my boyfriend as a teenager and neither of us wanting to put the telephone down first!

Picture this:

Someone writes to you: Thanks for sorting that out for me; I look forward to meeting you at 12pm on Thursday

That’s it – the end of the conversation, you don’t need to continue with:

  • Me too, looking forward to seeing you
  • Thanks, that’s really kind of you; I think we’ll have a lot to discuss!
  • No worries, see you then!
  • Can’t wait 🙂

What’s your biggest bugbear with managing your emails efficiently and what are your top email time management tips?

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