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Find an Extra Hour in Each Day: Our Favorite Email Hacks

You’ve got email!

Too MUCH email, more than likely.

Across Middle Tennessee, Inboxes are continually jammed with a daily onslaught of requests, responses, and fires to fight. It’s enough to dishearten the most dedicated and optimistic employee.

Think that’s an exaggeration? Consider how much time we spend checking email:

  • In an online survey of 400 U.S. white-collar, adult workers, respondents estimated spending 3.2 hours each day on work emails. Source: Huffington Post
  • According to McKinsey Global Institute, we spend, on average, 13 hours per workweek reading, deleting, sorting and sending emails – that’s over one-quarter of a typical 40-hour week! Source: Fast Company
  • A survey by Harris Poll found that U.S. employees at large companies (1,000+ employees) spend 14% of their workweek on email. Source: The Atlantic

The statistics vary, but they all clearly indicate a big problem:

Email is controlling our work lives – and ruining our productivity.

If it seems like email is eating up too much of your work day, check out our Murfreesboro staffing agency‘s favorite hacks to tame your Inbox – and reclaim an extra hour (or more!) each day:

  • Be realistic. An empty Inbox? That’s probably unrealistic (and puts unnecessary pressure on you, anyway). Make peace with the fact that your Inbox will always have unread messages, but vow to adopt practical email habits that will make you more successful.
  • Unsubscribe. Spend a lot of time deleting unwanted emails? Get proactive – and stop them from ever arriving in your Inbox. For one week, don’t delete unwanted emails. At the end of each day during that week, go through your Inbox and unsubscribe from lists you find irrelevant. It will only take a few minutes each day, but you’ll save hours (and your sanity) in the long-run by reducing the amount of unwanted email you receive.
  • Resist the urge to check email first thing. When you dive into your Inbox without a clear plan laid out for your day, you’re more likely to react to others’ priorities, wants and emergencies – and less likely to accomplish what you really need to do. When you arrive in the morning, spend a few minutes creating a prioritized To Do list. Then, adjust your list based on what your Inbox contains.
  • Check emails only at predetermined intervals. If you continually interrupt your work to respond to the “ding” of an incoming message, your brain has to switch tasks – and realign its attention. A more productive option? Create specific times each day to purge your Inbox: once after you create your To Do list; once before lunch; once in the early afternoon; and then once shortly before you’re scheduled to go home.
  • Touch each email only once. Instead of filing away emails to tend to later, take a “once and done approach”: unsubscribe from it, delete it, forward it or respond to it – and then be done with it!
  • Use templates. Send the same types of emails over and over? Don’t reinvent the wheel each time! Create a folder to store pre-written templates you can customize – and save yourself the keystrokes.

Another great way to reclaim more time – and boost your productivity?

Partner with Wood Personnel’s staffing experts. Offering a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, we can help you improve focus. Eliminate busywork. Save time and money. And simplify your work life. Give our Rutherford County employment agency a call today.