Emails are a fantastic way to keep in touch and they’re also a source of aggravation for us. Why are there 127 emails in your inbox when it was empty when you closed up last night?! Let’s look at how to easily answer more emails and spend less time in your inbox.
No more being reactive and allowing junk to creep into our inboxes!
In this article I’ll share 5 steps to easily answer more emails and spend less time in your inbox.
Step 1: Delete
Take 30 minutes to delete and unsubscribe from emails you don’t need. I challenged myself to unsubscribe from 80% of the people I follow and what a difference that made! Now I only receive emails that I can’t wait to open. If that sounds like too much then start with 20% and take back control in small pieces.
Remember you can always sign up again if you decide you still want to hear from that person.Put a reminder in your diary to do this once a month so the numbers don’t creep up again.
Step 2: Allocate time in your diary to check your emails
I have a daily 30 minute appointment in my diary. Avoid doing this first thing in the morning as it stops you allowing those emails to decide what you’ll spend time on that day.
You might need two 30 minute appointments if you get a lot of emails. Experiment to see what works for you. The important thing to remember is that you’re in control of when you read your emails.
Step 3: Open an email only once
This is a tip I was taught years ago – it’s simple yet it can take some getting used to. The idea is that you open an email once, deal with it then file it.
Have a look at the emails in your inbox – how many times have you already opened those emails?
“Oh, that email title sounds good. I’ll just take a peek. It’s too long to read now I’ll come back to it later…”
“Oh there is the email I was expecting from Marsha. Hmmm I don’t really have time to read this now as I’m meant to be writing a blog post. I’ll come back to it later…”
Each time we do this we’re filling up our brains with extra information but not actioning anything! This adds to our feeling of overwhelm so watch your behaviour when it comes to opening the same email multiple times.
Step 4: Looks for trends
I’m always looking for ways to save time in my business. I do this in my inbox by creating template emails for myself.
It’s important when using templates (and systems for that matter) to not remove yourself entirely. You don’t want your messages to sound like they came from a robot! You still want your messages to convey your personality.
My aim with my templates is to save time by not having to type the same messages over and over again. I can then use the time I’ve saved to interact with people on a more personal level to create lasting relationships.
Look out for trends in your emails to know which templates will be useful for your business e.g. people asking how to book in for a session or asking what kind of services are covered in your session.
Step 5: Your inbox is not your filing system
When you’ve dealt with an email move that puppy out of your inbox! Create a home for your emails and move them in as soon as you.
Create a simple filing structure for your emails. It could match the structure you use for your documents or within Asana. Above all keep it simple!
My structure revolves around my clients. Potential Clients, Current Clients and Past Clients all have their own folders. Which folders do you need?
Is the thought of tackling your inbox leaving you cold? Give me an hour of your time and we’ll organise your emails together so you can spend less time in your inbox. Book a session for just US$97 and let’s get you organised quickly.