| April 14, 2020
Sometimes, saving time means spending less than expected, or at least less than you have in the past — almost like a coupon for minutes on sale. Remember that time you said, “Look, honey! I just saved us $100 on this new TV because I bought it on sale!” You still spent the money, but you also saved money. Saving time is a lot like that. Here are five tips to help save time on emails.
1. Schedule Email Time
Email is not intended to be an emergency communication method. Do your important work first before you even open your emails. I’ve even heard the suggestion to not look at emails before noon. For the digital natives in the crowd, that may sound crazy. Regardless, find what times work best to give email your undivided attention, and dive in and try those times only. If it works, do it again.
2. Rethink Notifications
Some folks have gained (or at least controlled) their time better by turning off their email and other notifications on their desktop computers and phones. At the very least, try minimizing notifications to only a few key accounts.
3. Know When to Make a Call Instead
If you glance at your inbox and see several emails from the same person, one call will be faster than replying to each separately. Similarly, have you ever noticed that when you put several questions in one email that getting every answer is a gamble? Written communications take time to perfect and compose. If an email requires more than five sentences, consider making a quick call instead.
4. Have Templates for Common Copy
Are there items you frequently address? Answers, or even partial answers, that need to go on common emails? Keep a note or Word doc on your desktop with these sentences, quotes or info and save the typing time by cutting and pasting them into the emails. Also, many email programs allow for several customized signature lines, which can be used to convey common information tags with a simple click.
5. Stay Up
Once you set time to handle emails, handle them all. The simple act of finishing emails saves time because nothing is a bigger time-waster than anxiety. Avoid the mental spin that comes with unread or unanswered emails. Be honest with yourself: Am I really saving this for later, or am I avoiding it? Most of the time neither is a good answer. Do what you can do and mark the rest done, read or filed.
So much of saving time in today’s world is about using the available tools efficiently. Email is a great communication tool, even a time-saver, when used efficiently. Experiment and find the best tricks for your day.
Mardra Sikora is the CEO of Pocket Folders Fast and is obsessed with time. Record time. On time. Making time. And on it goes. You can reach her via PocketFoldersFast.com or via Twitter @MardraInPrint