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National E-mail Week: Top 5 Tips for More Time and Less Stress
Marsha Egan, CSP - Workplace Productivity Coach and E-mail Expert Marsha Egan, CSP - Workplace Productivity Coach and E-mail Expert
Reading, PA
Thursday, June 9, 2011

The second week of June is upon us and you know what that means: you're a week closer to summer, a few days closer to ideal vacation months, and a whole lot closer to the pool.

But, fittingly, this week is also National E-mail Week. It's here to remind us all that even though the sun is shining and we're looking to enjoy some downtime, our overflow of e-mails is still there, stubbornly waiting to be answered and organized.

Looking for ways to reclaim your time and enjoy the best time of the year? In honor of National E-mail Week, here are some quick tips on how to clean up your e-mail act, while optimizing your communication skills and eliminating stress!

1. Pick up the phone. Did you know that we talk 4 times faster than we type? We've been taught to think of e-mail as the fastest, most convenient form of communication, when in reality it can slow us down. Instead of taking the time to craft a convincing e-mail message, pick up the phone and articulate your ideas the old-fashioned way.

We all know how quickly one e-mail correspondence can turn into a jumble of messages that are hard to keep track of. So, exercise your vocal cords and you'll spend less of your time while getting better results, faster – guaranteed!

2. "Twitterize" your e-mails. Well, your messages don't have to be a maximum of 140 characters, but the point still stands! Keep your messages short, and then make them even shorter. Here's why: The shorter your message, the greater the chance all of it will be read. People are less likely to skim your e-mail, and you're more likely to get a timely response, if you keep it to a minimum.

3. Turn off the ding. You finally sit down to read that book you've been wanting to get to for months, when…DING. You scramble up to see who's messaged you now. You're enjoying a relaxing dinner, catching up with an old friend, when…FLASH. Your eyes can't tear away from the piercing red light, alerting you to the next mystery e-mail. The solution? Turn it off!

You have got to stop interrupting yourself, and the best way to do it is to turn off the dings and flashes. You should choose when you go in to get your e-mail messages, just like you choose when you go to your Postal Service mailbox to pick up your mail. The continual interruptions of those flashes and dings are more toxic to your productivity (and your relaxation time) than you know. Turn them off and see how much more you can get done!

4. Be personal. National E-mail Week isn't just about recognizing how we use e-mail – and how we can do it better – it's also about recognizing how important e-mail is to our everyday relationships and communications. Being personal in your e-mail messages is imperative to ensure that you're building relationships. I recommend that the person's name be placed somewhere in every e-mail message. If you don't use it in your salutation, make sure you use it in the body of the message – every time!

5. Five times a day. That's how often you should check your e-mail. On average, people check their e-mail about 70 times a day, so this may take some getting used to. But, believe me: it IS possible to check your e-mail less. The less you check it, the more productive you'll be. The key is for you to take control of your habits.

Because email receipts have become one of the most prolific interrupters of the 21st century, managing the frequency with which you check your email will bring great returns to your productivity. If you create folders for different senders and subjects, it will also reflect the strategy of grouping like tasks. I recommend checking your e-mail first thing in the morning, mid-morning, after lunch, mid-afternoon, and at the end of day. And, voila! You'll feel more focused, less stressed and in control of your e-mail once and for all.

On a Final Note…

Once you take the initiative to incorporate these top 5 tips into your lifestyle, you'll notice immediate results. With less clutter, more talking time, fewer interruptions and a personal touch, you'll leave this year's National E-mail Week feeling better about your inbox than ever before!

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC
Title: CEO
Group: InboxDetox.com, a division of The Egan Group, Inc.
Dateline: Nantucket, MA United States
Cell Phone: 610-780-1640
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