We live in an age where so many remarkable technological advancements have changed the way we work and do business every day. However, 40 years on from the first ever email being sent, surprisingly little has changed in something that dominates the lives of so many of us.
Smartphones mean we now always have one eye on our emails, and for some of us, checking emails will be the last thing we do before we go to sleep and the first thing we look at in the morning.
This ever-present reminder of work and stream of often pointless emails is not only bad for our health but also our productivity. Research by University of Loughborough shows that it takes an average of 64 seconds for someone to recover their thoughts after being distracted by an email, which can add up to actually costing companies between £5,000 and £10,000 per employee per year in reduced productivity.
Of course email is something that most businesses rely on for communication, but how can we ensure it is used effectively rather than becoming a harmful distraction?
1. Plan email moments into your agenda
Set yourself specific times during the day when you will check emails, rather than being distracted every time one pings into your inbox. Most won’t be urgent and if they are, the sender should really think about picking up the phone. Use the quiet parts of the day to get your email stuff done. I tend to check my stuff early in the morning, just before lunch and late in the evening.
2. Focus on the important stuff first
Use rules to make sure important emails go into your important folders to be addressed first. Use as much time as needed to respond to the most important stuff on your list. Once this has been completed move to the next messages and give yourself a time constrained goal of making decisions on what next on the other stuff.
Read more email tips here:
3. Do not forget to meet and talk with people
Without realising it, many of us receive dozens of emails from the same person in a day, when a phone call or even getting up and walking over to them could cover everything you want to say much more efficiently. Face-to-face interaction helps creativity and builds a more fun, friendly working culture.
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