As business mentor, I often see people drown in a sea of emails. I’m currently mentoring Renee Freedman from Guardian Strata as part of Microsoft’s ModernBiz Technology Make-over. And when I caught up with Renee recently, she told me that she walked into work that day to find more than 700 messages in her inbox, all demanding urgent attention.
Renee is a strata manager – so you can probably imagine that kind of emails she receives! Facing a mountain of 700 emails on a regular basis is enough to make anyone feel sick. And they are all genuine messages from clients.
The reality is that the volume of Renee’s emails is not going to decrease. So we worked together to formulate a strategy to help Renee manage her inbox.
Get email on the go
Until Microsoft’s technology make-over, Renee was unable to access her emails on-the-go on her mobile device. So if she was out at meetings, that meant she had to rush back to the office to attack her inbox or check if there was an urgent issue that had to be dealt with.
Thanks to the make-over, Renee can now access emails on her mobile device, giving her much more flexibility so that she’s not chained to her desk. She can triage the emails and action the urgent ones, while leaving the less-urgent ones for later.
If you run a business and you don’t yet have access to your emails on your mobile device, what are you waiting for?!
However, easy access to your emails can also be addictive. So it’s important to set boundaries. The thing is: everyone has different priorities and lifestyle considerations. Renee decided to:
– determine specific times of the day when she would check and respond to emails.
– identify the types of queries that often result in a lot of “back and forth” correspondence. Instead, the best course of action may be to simply pick up the phone and resolve the issue that way.
Use email more efficiently
With the technology make-over, Renee now has the latest version of Microsoft Office 365 including Outlook. A couple of strategies to help manage her email include viewing her emails using conversation view so that she can read the entire thread and respond to the latest email instead of responding to them out of order.
Ultimately, email can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. But it’s vital that you don’t become a slave to it and to master the tool so it can really work for you.
This content has been created as part of my involvement in Microsoft’s #ModernBiz Program.