I have mentioned in a previous post the effects that email can have on ones work efficiency as well as the stress that it can cause. It is not uncommon for businessmen and women to send and receive hundreds of emails every day! One of these businessmen is Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn. You can imagine with all of LinkedIn’s employees over the world Jeff would receive his fair share of emails.
Jeff has created some tips to help you in the battle against managing your emails in the hope of becoming a better functioning and more efficient employee. I have summarized the 6 tips below, enjoy!
1. If you want to receive less email, send less email
Almost ridiculously basic but very effective, if you are struggling with too many emails – don’t send as many. This doesn’t mean stop replying to everyone, just hold off on copying everyone into an email and only send emails when absolutely necessary. Plus perhaps you could even pick up that phone once in a while!
2. Mark as unread
When you’re filtering through your emails and responding to any that require attention, rather than trying to do everything then and there because your worried that one might slip through the cracks. Mark it as unread and come back to it later. For example, if your checking your emails on your phone at home and notice something that is important, simply mark it as unread and then when your back in the office it will be right there waiting for you.
3. Establish a routine
Having a routine is a very effective way to manage any area of your life. Jeff Weiner has a routine that suits him well and allows him to stay on top of his email every day:
Wake between 5am and 5:30am; spend roughly an hour on my inbox; catch up on the day’s news; have breakfast and play with the kids; workout; go to the office; carve out roughly two hours for buffers each workday; come home; put the girls to bed; have dinner with my wife; and then decompress, typically while watching tv (sporadically cleaning up my inbox via mobile during commercials and the boring parts of whatever we’re watching.)
4. Be precise with your words
Do your best to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation within your emails. The more precise you are in the first place, the smaller the chance that the receiver will have to ask you to explain further. Do it once, do it right.
5. Give some thought To: the recipients
Use the To: and CC: fields correctly.
If you send an email with 5 people in the To: line you will likely get 5 responses, only put people that you need a response from in the To: field. If a person just needs to see the message, CC: them – this will give the understanding that they don’t need to reply.
6. Acknowledge receipt
If the sender has taken the time to address you in the To: line, take the time to acknowledge you received it.
If you don’t respond, they’ll have no idea whether or not they’ve been heard. It is likely to generate another email with fundamentally the same content, but this time a number of additional people in the To: line in the hopes they’ll respond given you didn’t. The more people addressed, the more crowded your inbox is likely to become.