Manage Your Email Before It Manages You
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Email is one on the most valuable timesaving tools available in the business
world today. Imagine if every time you had to get a message to a client,
supplier or employee, you had to pick-up the phone or meet with them in person.
The lost hours could be astronomical. Thankfully email allows us to save the
time potentially lost to the chit-chat and idle gossip that can occur as a
result of talking on the phone or in person. But as much time as email can save
for some, it is a major distraction that actually causes the loss of
concentration and time for others.
Let's face it, with email being such a quick and simple form of
communication, most people don't think twice about responding to emails as they
arrive or sending a "quick" note on just about anything. But, all those "quick"
notes can quickly add up. If you find that way too much time in your day is
being lost to email, the following tips may help you regain the precious time
that was meant to be saved by email.
1. Set a schedule to read and respond to emails. For most business
owners or employees, reading and responding to your emails at scheduled times at
the beginning, middle and end of the day will prevent the loss of concentration
that can be caused by responding to email as it arrives. For some, it's vital to
check emails almost constantly throughout the day. If this is the case for you,
only respond to the most urgent emails, and reply to the less pressing ones
during your scheduled email response times.
2. Set up an email organizational system. You can program your email
to automatically sort itself for you based on certain conditions such as, the
sender or the title. Some email programs such as MS Outlook will even let you
color code your email, to allow you to sort them more efficiently and
differentiate between important and non-urgent emails.
3. Set-up an autoresponder for general client inquiries. An
autoresponder will automatically respond to emails sent to it. This means you
can respond to frequently asked questions automatically while for other
inquiries, you can let the client know that their message has been received and
give them a time frame in which you will respond to their inquiry.
4. Don't be afraid not to respond to friends sending you chain emails
or jokes. If you don't have time to read them and/or respond, just delete. Most
people won't be offended by not receiving a "ha ha, very funny" email in return.
5. If you have an Administrative Assistant, allow them to sort your
email and send general responses to the less important ones. An Assistant can
also check your email throughout the day and notify you of anything that needs
to be responded to urgently. Exchange servers facilitate this timesaving method.
If an Assistant isn't feasible for you due to space or monetary considerations,
you could consider delegating this task to a Virtual Assistant.
6. If a considerable amount of your time is being wasted sorting
through junk mail, if possible, heighten your email security. If this is
not possible, performing a simple internet search for "stop spam" should give
you a selection of programs designed to decrease or eliminate spam.
Email was developed to be a timesaving device. Don't let it run your business
day by making you less efficient. By simply organizing your email and setting
specific times to respond to it, you can gain back the time that was initially
meant to be saved by email.
About the Author
Kelly Sims is a Virtual Assistant and President of Virtually There VA
Services. To find out more about virtual assistance and how using a Virtual
Assistant can simplify your life, visit her website at =>
http://www.virtuallythereva.com . While you're there, don't forget to sign
up for her free monthly newsletter providing useful information that enhances
and simplifies the lives of busy entrepreneurs.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-09-24 18:38:00 in Computer Articles