Email, yes it has helped speed up business communications. What would have taken days in the past can now be done almost instantaneously. Yes, it has opened up new global markets particularly for the technical translation industry. Yes, sometimes it can be a welcome break from work needing lots of concentration.
Yet there is a downside to this fairly modern technology. Email can not only be distracting but can also waste unnecessary time. It can also be stressful if not managed correctly.
What can be done so as not to be swapped by emails? The answer lies in taking a methodical approach.
1) Allocate a time to view emails
It is tempting to stop a piece of work when we see the little email icon box appearing or hear those familiar chimes.
It is a hard habit to break but it is worth doing if you can. Simply close-down your email alerts. Choose to look at your emails at certain times throughout the day. If you need a break from a piece of work, try standing up and moving around. Sometimes fresh eyes will help when you are working on a project such as a technical manual. In any event, looking away from the screen at least every 20 minutes is also recommended to prevent eye-strain.
2) Allocate a time to manage emails
Setting aside a time to deal with emails will help make you feel that you are in control of your inbox. If you receive your messages through your smart phone, you could clear any emails out whilst watching a boring television programme.
3) Prioritising emails
Probably not all of your emails need to be answered straightaway. Prioritising emails can help with inbox management. Sometimes – and to avoid silly errors – it is better to draft emails and then re-read them later before sending.
4) Setting up folders
Email clients such as OutLook allow you to create folders for emails. Creating rules means that emails are sent automatically to the individual folders you have set up in your email client.
5) Unsubscribe to emails
Unsubscribing to emails that you do not want or do not read, will also help.
These are just five email tricks to help you manage your inbox stress.
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