Avoid Death by Email with Our Top Tips for Email Overload
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the endless stream of emails landing in your inbox? You're not alone. With the average office worker receiving 121 emails a day and sending 40, it's not much of a surprise that email overload is a common problem.
Not only can this have a massive impact on stress levels - so much so that France introduced a law in 2017 that firms must come up with a plan to give staff a break from office emails - but key information can be lost.
The problem has only worsened recently with remote working. We've all come to rely so heavily on email as our primary form of communication with our teams. Unfortunately, it's so easy for something important to slip through the cracks. When it comes to your projects, this can be fatal. Without all the information on the table, you can't prepare for success. No one wants to be blindsided.
So what can you do?
Step 1: Set Boundaries
More and more companies are setting out new boundaries to try to help employees turn off and take a break from their emails outside of working hours. Whether the measures are trying to reduce the number of internal emails, or set out specific email-free time periods, attempts are being made to take a weight off of employees. However, it can be a tricky balancing act.
If your employer isn't taking steps to set boundaries throughout the workplace, set your own. Of course, some job roles require being constantly available, but for most, that email can wait until Monday morning. Many of us find ourselves checking in even when we know there is no expectation. It's not easy to switch off. Setting out specific 'off' times, like the weekend and evenings, is a good step towards taking the pressure off.
It can be easy to scroll through emails. If it doesn't need your immediate attention, it can get passed over and forgotten, ultimately building up until your inbox is overflowing. With no storage restrictions, thousands of emails accumulate, making it even easier to lose track of the important stuff.
Try taking action with every email as you read it. 'Inbox Zero' is an aspirational goal for many, but surprisingly simple to achieve. By making a decisive action in the moment, it takes little time and can even boost your mood. Lawyer, Clare Godson, described feeling 'lighter' after adopting the 'satisfying' approach. Deleting read emails you no longer need keeps the information you do need front and centre.
Try New Tech
Email is a great mode of communication, even when it's being used ineffectively. However, trying different technology could alleviate your problems. At Projects that Deliver, we love to use Miro, the online collaboration platform. Keeping the information you need in one place takes the focus off your email inbox and makes it really easy to find what you're looking for.
The collaborative nature of Miro helps you communicate and stay in touch with your whole team. It even sends notifications and automatically highlights any changes that have been made to the board since you last viewed it, helping you easily identify what your colleagues have been working on and what needs your attention.
Whatever platform or software you use, finding alternatives for email is a great way to organise and keep track of your information. Of course, email will continue to be a major form of communication in nearly every team, but a more balanced approach will keep you on track.
Are you dreading death by email? If you think the communication in your team isn't at its best, now is the time to change it. You might be tempted to ignore it for other pressing priorities, but steps taken now are an investment in your future.
We help businesses put systems and processes in place to save them time and money with long-term changes. If you think you could do with a hand, book in one of our free sessions to find out more.