Companies that ignore the need for email efficiency are setting themselves up for a colossal waste of resources. Corporate America spends over 40 percent of their day on email; to put that figure into financial terms, someone who earns $55,000 a year will make $1,760 each month just to check and respond to email.
Boost your email efficiency immediately with a little discipline and the following tips.
- Format your message so it's scannable. If you can, condense your idea into bullet points. Limit your emails to one or two paragraphs at most. If you have more to say, consider a phone call or in-person pop-wow.
- Master the art of EOM. This essential acronym stands for "end of message." Use it when your whole email can fit into the subject line and your recipient doesn't need to open the message. For example: Let's plan Project X at 2pm in the breakroom on Tuesday. EOM
- CC with care. Eliminate unnecessary CCed recipients. Ideally, every CCed or BCCed recipient has an action item.
- Use email filters. Use filters or rules in your email client of choice to help you separate mission-critical emails from newsletters or less-important messages. Assign high-priority tags to your boss or team members, for example, and low-priority tags to airplane fare alerts or daily deal emails. (While you're at it, unsubscribe to any useless newsletters or email blasts.)
- Do 2-minute tasks immediately. If a message will take you 2 minutes or less to address or complete, do so right away.
What strategies do you use to pare down your email and boost efficiency?