Copyright © of R.G. Srinivasan
E-mail, a wonderful
communication tool is also the greatest challenge to manage.
Hundreds of mails pouring in from friends, forums, business associates,
customers and subscribed newsletters and spam mail with enticing subject
Just imagine reading
even 50 mails a day. It would take two and half hours even if you
just spend 3 minutes on an average per mail. Replying to five to six
important mails a day would take another hour at 10 minutes a mail.
Spending upto 4 hours a
day on mails may leave you with little time to do more important work. So
how do you manage the clutter of mails?
The first thing on
setting up a new mail account is to create folders for storing important
mails. You can create folders such as personal mails, business mails,
priority response, newsletters etc. This will help you sort the
important, urgent and casual mails and prioritize your email activities.
Spam and bulk mails
Most mail programs have
very strong spam filters and they are improving by the day. This automatically filters your mail to bulk
folders based on key words and whether the mail address is in your address
book among various other criteria. As a rule never read any bulk mail
however enticing the subject heading may be. Just scan the headings to
check whether any recognizable mail has been sent to the bulk mail folder
and delete the rest ruthlessly. If you get into even opening a few mails
your mail time management takes a toss for the worst.
Set up temporary
Many users have
temporary needs for receiving huge amount of mails. This could be due to
inviting applications for a position, submitting to search engines and
running a promo, ad campaign or site submissions to search engines etc. Set up a temporary mail address and
delete the mailbox once the purpose is achieved. Most mail services now
offer this service as regular feature.
Forgetting the login
and passwords are a major time waster for all mail users. Keep a separate
folder for passwords and site sign ups so that you need not request the
passwords every time you need to login to a site.
Don’t open your emails
too frequently or use it as a time filler. There is phenomenon called
entrainment, which to explain in simple terms is a feeling of speed and fast
paced action provided by emails and net surfing and is a major source of
addiction. This also gives you a feeling of having done a lot
of work. Have a predefined time schedule for checking and replying to mails.
When you feel a service
or newsletter is no longer required simply unsubscribe. You may subscribe
again when the need is felt.
Finally, email is a very
valuable tool. Not managed well you could have thousands of mails sitting
in your mail box creating huge confusion and loss of valuable time. How
well you manage it will decide how effective you will be in your
communication and productivity.