7 Tips On How Effective Business Owners Manage Email Overload
Have you ever run out of Internet data for a few minutes and you grew a little fussy over your inability to assess the Internet on your mobile device?
Like most people in a similar situation, you’d be worried about the bulk of messages you aren’t responding to.
The thrill/fear of being absent for a few hours from the Internet is soon replaced by the sudden buzz and vibration your phone gives off once you come online again.
The thunderous rain of messages that falls into your mobile device at the same time; all clawing for your attention.
And then you spend the next couple of minutes, hours or even days finding how best to respond.
Successful business owners (CEO’S) have to deal with a ton of messages in the form of emails, comments, social media messages, etc.
Worse still, most of the messages present themselves as crucial. They are often wrapped in fabrics of urgency and severity, immersing you for days, weeks, even months!
This daunting task of perusing through a gamut of information and deciding what is relevant presents you with the potential to either shakedown your effectiveness or build up an arsenal to grow the business.
The easy way out is to move all messages into the recycle bin.
Unfortunately, not addressing some required facts and figures, stray pieces of advice from staff, innumerable feedbacks from co-workers & customers can have as many dire consequences as giving time to every single piece of the message.
So, is there a way to organize and give priority to this stream of messages craving your attention? Can you successfully manage email overload? Who says there isn’t?
7 tips on how to manage email overload
1) Put first things first
Naturally, every business has a core objective. These pretty much forms the grand compass around which everything you do in business revolves.
It should also affect how you respond to messages. Attend first to emails & other forms of messages that fulfill the core objectives of your organization. Let them top your response list.
2) Set a schedule for checking and responding to messages
Establish a routine. You don’t have to pick up your mobile device every time you hear the buzz.
This can be a source of distraction during periods set aside for thinking, family or rest. Have an allocated time of the day to respond to your messages. Very Urgent matters can be addressed by placing phone calls.
3) Filter & setup categories for your emails
With the advent of social media, our inboxes are constantly getting loaded with messages that are practically useless.
The way around this is to apply filters to your emails and easily go back to less time-sensitive emails when time allows.
Creating categories help you to prioritize what messages demand quicker responses or not so you do not get immersed in the wrong pool.
4) Pre-written personal responses
This is more of an automated response from you for some frequent inquiries.
Instead of having to input entries from your keyboard every time these inquiries popup, you can save your responses in your draft and forward them every time the inquiries are sent.
5) Delegate, delegate, delegate
Confident bosses are not those sunk tirelessly in all the minute details that make the company run.
In a fascinating Quora thread about CEO email habits, Michael Chen, a responder who once met Hsieh, wrote that the Zappos CEO told him he had a team of four or five full-time email handlers.
“Fun fact, I think their official titles are Email Ninja,” Chen said.
Don’t have a co-worker who can take on your task? Matt DeCelles, a serial entrepreneur, suggests outsourcing your dreaded tasks to a freelancer on Fiverr.com.
6) Multiple email addresses & mobile number
More like categorizing your messages. You can assign one to business matters while the other could be meant for your family & friends.
7) Use a management software
OmniFocus, Triage, CloudMagic, Inbox by Gmail are all productivity software that helps you to manage your time and messages effectively, orderly and easily.
You can check out these products and decide which ones best suit your needs.
Finally, remember that your core objectives will help you pursue only what is relevant to your survival as a businessman while you bother less with other trivial details that may come in crucial packages.
It is like sailors on a ship facing a perilous wind. They focus on the important goods to salvage and throw off any cargo of little benefit.
Now, you too can do the same!