Managing our email, in general, is dangerously time-consuming. (Photo: Kristin Hume for Unsplash)
Damn job! is a segment where Oliver Schmouker answers your toughest questions [et les plus pertinentes] In the modern business world… and, of course, its failures. Appointment to read Tuesday And yet Thursdays. Do you want to participate? Send us your question at [email protected]
Q. – “Every day I receive more emails than I can handle. I have a sinking feeling. How can you keep your head above water?” – Audrey
A. – Dear Audrey, It is true that e-mails can quickly fill up our inbox if we are not consistent and rigorous. And even then, it may not be enough, because some days – who knows why – we literally drown under endless streams of emails.
what to do It seems simple to me: use simple and effective tips adopted by email management champions. Like Matt Plummer, CEO and founder of productivity consultancy Jarvana, many of us have analyzed the way we manage our emails, identified our bad email habits, and found solutions to fix them.
Mistake No. 1: We check our emails all the time
If we add up the minutes of consulting, reading and dealing with our e-mails each day, we fear: it can easily add up to an hour or two or more. Imagine what it would look like on a year scale…
Mr. According to Plummer’s work, we access our professional email inbox an average of 15 times a day, or once every 37 minutes. We take several minutes to process what needs to be processed without delay. And once it’s done, it usually takes 64 seconds to mentally get ourselves back on track, a study from Britain’s Loughborough University found.
We can clearly see that our way of doing things is dangerously time-consuming.
The problem comes because our management is disorganized: we react quickly when a notification pops up in a corner of our screen, even if the email isn’t important; Because the email is from the boss we take several minutes to give a nice answer and we don’t put much effort into answering the client’s question – due to lack of time, we subconsciously justify ourselves; etc
The solution suggested by Matt Plummer is two-fold and drastic:
– Delete all notifications once and for all. Emails will no longer disrupt our work in progress.
– Check our mailbox only once an hour. And give it only 7 or 8 minutes max. In fact, it makes us go to what is essential and therefore effective in our treatment.
Mistake No. 2: We archive over and over again
What do we do when email is not urgent? We file it away in a folder with the intention of coming back to it later, when we have some time.
Big mistake! This is because the folder in question is full of unprocessed emails that should have been there for a long time (mental load), forcing us to read it a second time (wasting time), when we feel guilty.
It’s best to pay as soon as you read an email, Mr. Plummer says, to spend as little time as possible. Hence, to put an end to our reflex to categorize everything and anything.
According to his work, we have an average of 37 email folders on hand. And when looking for such and such an email we inevitably get lost, clumsy: usually, we click on a folder and scroll until we fall on the one we are interested in; This translates into wasted minutes and minutes every day.
Subject, object, currency, substance, sense? Matt Plumer recommends systematic use of a search engine. By keywords (which is 9% faster than scrolling through an email box). or by common operators (for example, “from:re[email protected]”) (time savings estimated at 50%).
Mistake No. 3: We tolerate irrelevant emails
According to data from Sanebox, 62% of emails we receive are irrelevant. It might sound like spam, but out of pure professionalism we’ll go through it anyway; Or the newsletters we subscribe to, but never open (Mr Plummer’s work is that we usually only open one in five!).
Again, this is a huge waste of time.
Hence the interest in acting without pity for them:
– Automatically filter newsletters that we no longer read, but we must subscribe to.
– Unsubscribe from newsletters and other messages from companies that are no longer associated with us.
– Systematically block senders who spam us. Without giving them a second chance.
By using these tricks, Audrey, you should see the number of emails you receive during the day magically melt away.
By the way, French sociologist Dominique Volton likes to say: “In communication, the most complicated thing is not the message or the technique, but the receiver”.