Email can be very time consuming. These ground rules are designed to help companies and employees get their time back and get email management under control.
The principle is to only touch an email once and to keep your inbox clear.
Elimination: Can you delete the email?
Automation: Can’t eliminate it? Can you use a rule to delete it or move it to a folder? If you are copied in on a lot of emails then you can create a rule to automatically move any emails you are cc’ed on to a folder so that you can still search.
Delegation: Can’t eliminate it? Are you the best person to do it? Can you delegate or out source it? Once you have delegated it, move the email to a folder called Delegated so that you don’t lose track of what has been delegated.
Do It Now: Process what is left. If you can do tasks immediately, don’t keep rereading jobs on job lists or emails in your to box. Do it now. You will be surprised how many tasks only take a few minutes.
Project Manage: For those remaining emails that require more time move them to an Action folder a dedicate some time in your diary for clearing action items.
Batch process tasks: Only check your email at set times during the day. (e.g. 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00) Switch off the alert of an incoming email.
Brevity: Keep emails short and to the point. Be clear on what actions you want the reader to take. If the email is for information only, make it clear in the subject line. Use bullet points.
Subject Line: The subject line should be a brief summary of what is in the email. Try to make it so that the reader can simply act on the subject line.
Focused: The best approach is one idea per email. List multiple actions in bullet points.
Length: If an email looks like it needs to be more than 20 lines then consider putting it in a briefing document, better still a mind map or use one of the new Smart graphics in PowerPoint so that the ideas can be scanned quickly.
Email conversations: Don’t. Pick up the phone. You can speak faster than you can type.
Keep it positive: Only send emails that have a positive message. For anything else pick up the phone or meet them in person. No jokes, they will be taken the wrong way.
Cleanliness: Keep your inbox clear.
If you would like help with email management and growing your business, go to: www.kub-uk.net