What would you do if you had more time every week? You would probably complete that pending project or go above and beyond for a client.
According to a past McKinsey study, employees spend 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails. This time could have been spent on high-value work instead of replying to emails. We talked to experts to help you find a balance between constantly writing, “Sorry for the late response!” and reacting instantly to emails. Here’s what you should do.
1. Respond to Emails in Batches
When it comes to emails, there are two types of people: those who react and those who answer emails in batches. The former constantly monitor their inboxes around the clock and respond to every email as it comes, while the latter set aside a specific time to power through emails and ignore them the rest of the time.
People who answer emails in batches are less stressed out and more productive. If you’re continuously checking your inbox, you’re most likely not focusing on the work you should be doing. To become a batcher, set aside specific times every day to check your emails. It also helps to be succinct. Don’t write ten sentences when only two are needed.
2. Write Canned Emails
There’s no need to write the same email time and again, simply create canned responses. Canned responses Gmail are ideal for those who continually receive the same emails. But you must enable the feature in your Gmail Settings before you can use it.
Canned responses save time, increase accuracy, and guarantee consistency. Once you set up the perfect canned response, you appear smart and reliable. You can use pre-written emails to reply to common questions customers ask, such as your availability or rates. You can quickly respond to emails, decluttering your inbox much quicker.
3. Set Alerts for Urgent Emails
It’s easy to say, “I’ll ignore my email for one hour so I can focus on work, but the person may email again saying they need an urgent response, and cc my boss. That will even be worse!” That’s the kind of stress you don’t need, right?
Adjust your smartphone’s settings to receive push notifications about time-sensitive emails. Some people freak out if they don’t receive a response to their email within five minutes. When you set alerts for urgent emails, you can ignore your inbox without worrying about missing something important.
4. Acknowledge Important Emails
While you don’t have to respond to every email immediately, sometimes a client or a boss would like you to acknowledge that you received their email. In such cases, send a brief email immediately and let the person know you’ll write a more detailed email later.
If you let people know their email is a priority despite your huge workload, they will be more understanding. And when you promise to respond to emails later, you gain control over your schedule. You don’t rush to please people when you have a lot on your hands.
Interesting Related Article: “How Important Is Email Deliverability?“