We all know email can waste a lot of time. But how much? According to some studies, the average American office worker spends over SIX HOURS a day just checking their emails. That’s not even including writing and responding to them. Assuming a 40 or 50 hour work week, that’s about a whopping 75% of your working hours! So when can we get any actual work done?
Simple: if you increase your email productivity, you increase your overall productivity. Using email more efficiently means less time using email, and more time for the rest of your day. Here are some easy tricks to help you cut down email time to just an hour or two a day.
Email Productivity Tip 1: Schedule Your Email Time
The number one tip experts recommend for increasing your email productivity is simply a matter of time management. Schedule windows of time into your day specifically devoted to email. And then (most importantly)leave it alone the rest of the time.
If you schedule a half hour when you get to work for emails, a quick inbox check for important items, and another half hour at the end of the day, you can reduce your email time to just over an hour, leaving you the rest of the day to work distraction-free.
But what about the constant notifications? No problem.
The Free Pause Gmail Chrome Extension allows you to prevent new emails from showing up until you want them to. It’s like pressing the mute button, so you can focus without constant email diversions. Set it for five minutes, set it for the whole day, turn it off whenever you’ve scheduled your email time. Any emails that you got during the paused period will show up as soon as you say so, when you have time to give them your full attention.
Email Productivity Tip 2: Prioritize Who Gets Through
With the constant inbox barrage, it can be hard to distinguish signal from noise. Sure you can just turn off notifications, but sometimes emails from certain people are a priority. What if your boss, supervisor, or a VIP client needs your attention now?
You can set up a filter or a special tag, sure. But those are complicated to set up, and hard to adjust notifications for. With Gmail SMS Alerts, emails from important people get sent as text messages directly to your phone. So you can turn off email notifications, and never have to worry about distractions or missing the messages that matter.
Email Productivity Tip 3: Stop Playing Tag
We’ve all been there. All that needs to happen is to schedule a time to meet, or a quick explanation of how to use a new feature, and then it turns into an endless back-and-forth. It can be maddening.
The meeting scheduler lets coworkers and clients schedule meeting times with you whenever is convenient for them. It only shows times where you’re available, syncs with your Google Calendar, and is easy to add to your email signature, so anybody with your email with can schedule time without the interminable “when are you available” messages.
Screencast lets you record your screen and microphone, and then add the video directly to an email. You can also save it as an mp4 file to any cloud account or directly to your YouTube channel. This makes it quick and easy anytime it’s simpler to show someone how to do something instead of typing out a confusing set of directions.
Sometimes you get an email that covers lots of points (or contains a lot of questions). Writing back point by point can be laborious, and different conversations can lead to a confusing thread hell. Gmail Notes saves you the trouble. It lets you leave comments on emails, just as you would in a document. You can respond directly to each specific point or question, while also including a general response.
Email Productivity Tip 4: Do It Ahead of Time
This goes back to tip 1: The more you can get done in your allotted email time, the better. I mean, what could be better for email productivity than already having your emails written? That’s why we’ve made you a couple of tools that help you get it done before it needs to be done.
Schedule Email lets you write an email now, but schedule it to be sent later. You don’t want to send your boss or a client an email in the middle of the night. So write it now and schedule it to send at a later time that’s more convenient for your recipient.
Gmail Auto Follow Up lets you write a series of follow up emails all at once. Whether you want to follow up with a prospective client, employee, or employer, you don’t have to rely on your overworked memory to be on the ball. Just sit down, write the initial and follow up emails, and schedule how long to wait before sending the next one. If your prospect replies, great, you’re done. If not, you’ve already scheduled your reminders! You look like you’re on the ball, but you only hit send once. No more setting reminders or covering your desk in sticky notes.
cloudHQ is Email Productivity
At cloudHQ, we’re devoted to your productivity. We hope these tips are helpful. If you liked what you saw, be sure to check out our other 40+ Chrome Extension productivity tools.