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Three Email Time Management Tips for Business Owners and Their Employees

by Tim AustinMarch 7, 2017 8:00 AM

Too many emails per day keeps productivity away. Email is a great communication tool, but too many business owners and employees get bogged down and frustrated by endless messages that eat away at productivity.

Forbes reported that “office workers spend 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails.” That’s almost a third of your work day! It’s time to take back your time so that you can limit the amount of your day you spend dealing with your email and limiting distractions. That way your business can benefit and you’ll feel a lot better about dealing with your inbox on your terms. Here are three email time-management tips that can benefit you and your company.

Image of a man frustrated with emails. Read our email management tips.

Schedule Times to Check Your Email

Stop answering an email as soon as you see a notification. It’s rare that you’ll ever need to respond within minutes of an incoming message and the distraction can really hurt your productivity. According to Atlassian, a company that develops software and management tools, it can take around 16 minutes to truly refocus after being interrupted by an incoming email, meaning that emails can take up a lot of time and make you less efficient at other tasks. 

One way to address this problem is to set a couple of regularly scheduled times to review and answer your emails. That way you can focus on whatever task you’re working on and give it your full attention. You can then check on that email – and any others – at 2 p.m., or whatever the next time you have set in your calendar. Plus, it’s more efficient to handle emails in bulk anyway!

SaneBox, an online email efficiency tool, estimates that “62% of emails in the average inbox are not important and can be processed in bulk.” By setting up regular times to check your inbox, you can more efficiently address each message.

Turn Off Email Notifications

If you really like our last suggestion, but just can’t stop getting distracted when an email notification pops up on your screen, feel free to turn off those notifications. Notifications are designed to get your attention, so removing them will effectively remove the impulse to check your inbox.

Of course, not everybody will be willing – or even able – to turn off notifications. However, that simple act can make it easier to break bad email habits and save you and your company time in the long run.

Think Before You Send

A quick consideration of who should receive an email can help limit the amount of time your company spends dealing with emails. The Wall Street Journal reported on a company that began telling their executives to reconsider cc’ing extra people on an email or forwarding items to them to keep them in the loop. 

What they found was that these emails ended up being more of a time suck that a help. By limiting the number of people on forwards, cc’s, or bcc’s, the company cut the total number of emails – and the number of potential distractions – sent out by half.

Save Time for Other Work Functions

Good time management is a crucial way to help save your business money. Retooling email habits can help eliminate unnecessarily wasted time so that you and your employees can spend that time elsewhere.

Emails aren’t the only thing that can take away from productivity. HR functions can take hours of time away from other important tasks, especially if you aren’t trained properly. If you need to free your time up, contact GMS to see how our HR experts can help. 

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