Do not underestimate the impact that emails will have on your performance as there is nothing more overwhelming and stressful than having an inbox full of emails.

Below are 3 tips that will help you stay on top of your emails and maximise your performance.

Allocate a few times per day to check emails

Allocate a few times per day (less is best) to check your emails.  Allocate times that work best for you and remember to not check emails in between these times.

Of course some roles will require you to check emails more frequently, but use your own judgment as to how many times per day you need to check your emails.  If something is that important you will most likely be notified by phone or in person anyway.

Remember to turn off all your email alerts and sound notifications as these can distract you and make you unfocused.  Also avoid constantly checking your emails on your phone when you’re not in the office. A simple way is to remove email notifications from your phone as well.

Take action

When it is time to check your emails, the goal is to have a clean empty inbox by the end.

When you open an email, review it and take action immediately. Ask yourself ‘What do I need to do with this email?”  If you need to action a request and it will take you a few minutes then action the request straight away.  Once you have finished with the email, either delete it from your inbox or file it away. 

On the other hand, if the request you need to action will take you more than a few minutes then allocate some time in your diary as to when you will action the email.  Once you have allocated time in your diary be sure to file the email away.

If the email is an FYI email, delete the email when you have finished reading it.

Making quick decisions and taking actions immediately will help keep you focused and on top.

Avoid time on unnecessary emails

Remove yourself from all unnecessary email subscriptions, which will have little impact on your performance. If there is a daily market update or newsletter you like to receive, consider creating a rule in your mail so that this email is automatically delivered into a sub folder.  Remember to check this sub folder every few days, as you do not want to increase the number of new emails in this sub folder to a point it becomes the folder you avoid reviewing.

While the above tips sound easy in practise it will take a lot of will power to implement them into your daily routine. Persist! It will be worth it.

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