Mastering Email

By: Sergeant Carpenter

Remember, please that my work as a productivity consultant doesn't mean that I teach folks how to do more faster, more faster, and then faster still, until you fall apart. My purpose is to guide folks to identify the tasks that are profitable for them, and to focus on those tasks as their highest priority, all the time striving to maintain a profitable level of function in each profitable area of activity. In other words, There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Such is often the case with email.

How many times a day do you check email? And how long at each session? How much of your email in the office is official and how much is personal or unofficial?

Our purpose is true to the basics of economics; that everyone works for incentives, i.e. Your company exists for financial profit. Every worker works for the incentives of cash and other benefits.

My intention is to help you accomplish your required tasks with less time in the workplace, for a non cash benefit: More time for your personal interests....more time off the job. This will create an environment of increased motivation and better creativity. Bosses and supervisors will do well to use this incentive with employees whenever possible. It will benefit your work environment and, in time, your bottom line.

Now, to you, my reader, whether you own the business or are the boss or worker, a good reason you should get your email habits under control because that action will allow you to reclaim much wasted (unprofitable) time and enable you to finish your day's work earlier, without cheating your email duties and without working faster and faster.

The solution is simple. First take stock of how many times a day you check email, and how many minutes each time you check it. This will vary, so just add up all the minutes you spend handling email on a random day...and note how many times you went to your inbox. After trying my suggestions below, measure again and compare.

For the next day, set a special time and promise yourself that you will check email only two times, at times you decide on before you leave the office today. Twice a day. This will work for most people. If you must have hyper responsive email for customer service, you can set up an autoresponder to respond to each customer with a form letter for you, or you can automatically outsource and forward those emails to someone who can answer 95% of them for you, from a list you provide.

Do whatever it takes, but reduce your email checking to twice daily, with a view towards once a day after about 30 days on the two times a day schedule. If you find it necessary, you can send all your contacts a short email explaining that in order to give better service you will be answering email twice a day and give the hour that you schedule that for. Then they will know that if they get an email to you before your 11:00 check, they will get an answer very quickly. Also, they will know that if they miss the 11:00 check, they will get a response between 3:00 and 4:00 P.M.

Prepare yourself before you go to your inbox. Determine that you will aggressively delete any obvious spam on sight. Delete them almost without thinking, before you get distracted. Next, open only each message that pertains to work and either answer it or flag it for research, investigation and/or follow-up. Make every effort to respond to each one as you open them. You may have to put some in the pending mode, if research or investigation is necessary. If you have a helper or secretary, you may want to have him or her find out why Mrs. Jones'order was not properly packed and send her an apology and a refund, for example. All personal emails should be ignored until after all your work is done for the day. I suggest the use of separate email addresses for different categories of correspondence and open each inbox only at its appropriate time.

This sounds rigid, I know. That's because it is serious. If you are among the majority of workers/bosses who just float along whichever way the current flows, who knows where you'll end up. If you are among those who want to rise to the top, ahead of your peers, this kind of management of your work habits, with your focus on productivity will enable you to set a definite course to a definite destination, and will make it possible for you to arrive successfully. You can do it. I know you can. You just need to decide to navigate towards success, and then take the first step. The next step will be more natural.

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Get more information and additional free tips on how you can get more done in less time by visiting Sergeant Carpenter's site for effective business managing You can also request a free consultation at his site.

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