Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Technology is supposed to help entrepreneurs become more efficient, effective and productive, but more often than not it gets misused. However, email can be a valuable productivity tool when used appropriately and managed effectively.
Here are 5 tips to help any entrepreneur to manage their inbox more effectively:
1. Establish a routine
Instead of responding to each and every email that comes through your inbox, set a daily routine with times to handle all mail. I prefer checking my emails first thing in the morning and before the end of each day to avoid the pressure of dealing with unread emails from the previous day.
Disable sounds and delivery previews that may tempt you to check your email and adjust your settings for appropriate intervals.
2. Prioritize your emails
Decide what to do with each email as you read it to avoid reading it again later on. Some messages require action while others are merely information which requires your acknowledgement. In this case your response should be ‘noted’ or “well received” or thank you; this you can do instantly.
Respond to emails that are more pressing, delete the ones that are irrelevant and mark unread the ones you would like to return to once you have sufficient time and add them to your to-do-list.
What I tend to do is acknowledge the email I want to deal with later on and let the sender know I will attend to it later so as to give it the attention it requires and deserves.
This is where you need to differentiate between an important email and an urgent email.
3. Send less emails
The more emails you send out the more responses they elicit from others.
I am amazed by the number of people who send emails to each other sitting in the same offices or next door to each other. Pick up the phone or walk over to the person’s office to have a face-to-face interaction.
This is also the most appropriate way of dealing with sensitive issues that can’t be conveyed on email. Face-to-face discussion captures important sub-text and emotions that can be completely lost in an email and easily misinterpreted.
4. Be Clear
Choose your words carefully in an email to avoid ambiguity; this way there is no confusion and the need for others to email you back seeking clarity.
5. Decide who your recipients are
There is nothing as frustrating as being copied on an email with many people going back and forth discussing things you are not even part of.
To some people it seems To and Cc fields on the email are the same and they are not.
Be clear about who you are sending the email to and whose response you really need.
Email is an essential communication tool, but use it effectively to drive real productivity in your business.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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