The secret about email is it can totally and completely derail your day!
Did you know that if you check your email every 15 minutes, you’ll be in your inbox 32 times in an 8 hour day? That’s almost 3 hours you spend on it. (And – let’s admit it – when is the last time you only spent 5 minutes answering email?)
So, how can you change this?
For today, I’m going to ignore “strategies” and instead talk big picture.
You do NOT need to respond to messages immediately. In fact, most of the clients I work with could just check their email 3 times each day – some as little as twice! Does this mean my clients don’t care about their customers?
It just means they have set the expectation for how and when they will communicate – and they follow their policy.
You teach people how to treat you. Bottom line, if you feel like you are a slave to your inbox, you probably set that expectation by immediately responding to emails.
Let’s create a new expectation.
- How long can you wait to respond to an email that is an “emergency”?
- How many “email emergencies” do you typically face in a day?
When you can answer those two questions, you can start to create a new email policy.
For example, if you receive one “email emergency” each quarter then request that those requests come via phone or text message – and plan to only check your email once or twice each day.
If you receive 2 – 3 emails each day that need to be responded to within 1 hour, then set your email policy to check emails at the top of every hour.
NOTE: Be realistic when you determine “emergency”! Is it really an emergency – or are people just used to you jumping to reply immediately? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you didn’t reply within an hour? If you can live with that answer, the message is probably NOT an emergency!
After you set your NEW email policy you need to communicate it to all stakeholders. Your customers will not object when they know how and when they are going to hear from you. For example, my clients know that I will respond to all emails within one business day. Do I typically respond earlier? Sure! Nothing wrong with under-promising and over-delivering!!! However, on the days I’m out of the office and need a little extra time to “catch up,” I’ve built in a buffer.
So now, it’s time for a new secret about email – how smoothly it fits into your day!
You can get more information and support to discover how you spend those precious hours – all 168 of them! The Impactive Strategies Magic 168 Action Guide will help you get clear on where you want to spend your time. Download your complimentary copy today!