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Email is a presence in almost every business, but some businesses use it better than others. Some use it as a be-all, end-all business communications solution, while others use it for correspondence that isn’t time sensitive. No matter how your business uses email, managing it properly will go a long way toward improving your efficiency and productivity.
How many times do you check your email throughout the day? Too many and it's a giant waste of your time, too few and you may not get the information you need to properly do your job. So, what’s the right amount of time? The answer is three times, but we’ll get to that.
To avoid wasting time with your email, the first thing you need to know is that you not only have a responsibility to check and respond to your emails, not doing so in a timely manner can stall projects, create inefficiencies, and slow business down significantly. This is why we suggest checking your email first thing, right after your lunch break, and again before you leave for the day. That is frequent enough to get all the information you need to get and respond to messages without wasting too much time.
A lot of the emails you get are baseless and pointless, but some are extremely important. That’s why you need to set aside enough time to look on your email as critical, without wasting an hour or more sorting through all the trash that may or may not be there because of you.
For the sake of the emails that you get that aren’t a complete waste of your time, you should have a system to manage them. Archiving tools and the use of specially designed folders can go a long way toward helping you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
The tools integrated into your email solution, as well as third-party apps supported by it, can be of great benefit to you. Filters and labels can help you keep organized, while there are several applications that can turn your email account into a full-scale productivity machine.
Is inefficient management of emails dragging down your productivity? Leave your email-related stories in the comments section below.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.