Technology is a wonderful thing – it allows us to work virtually from anywhere in the world, and makes our lives easier. However, it can also hinder us, and this is particularly true in the case of emails.

Every day we are bombarded with hundreds of emails, only a small percentage of which are necessary. Spam filters are great at filtering most of the unwanted emails but a small amount do get through, adding to the number we have to sift through!

We can spend hours each day checking, sorting, and reading our emails only to find we haven’t the time left for actual work!

Here are my top 5 tips for managing your emails and giving you back your much-needed time.

WAIT

Emails aren’t urgent! Don’t feel you have to read and act upon your email the second it hits your inbox. You don’t! It isn’t urgent. If there was a real emergency then your client/colleague/friend would call you.

UNSUBSCRIBE FROM NEWSLETTERS

Are all those newsletters you subscribe to really necessary? Probably not! If this the case spend some time going through them and unsubscribing the ones you don’t really want or read.

TURN OF YOUR EMAIL ALERTS

Does your email play distracting alerts, i.e. a sound? If so, disable it. This is a distraction and you could quite easily stop what you’re working on to go and check your emails. It will then take you some time to get back on track again, not to mention the amount of time you’ve just lost stopping what you were doing, reading your emails, and actioning them.

SET TIMES

Schedule set times to check your emails. Once or twice a day is enough, say first thing in the morning and again later in the day. If you subscribe to various industry groups save reading these emails until you take a break from your work – maybe at the end of the day when you’re winding down. You can easily get sidetracked reading all the different topics and replying to them, all of which is taking you away from your paid work.

USE FILTERING TOOLS

Utlise email filtering tools. Set up folders and filters so your email gets sent to the appropriate folder as soon as it arrives.

If you follow these 5 tips above, you will find you are spending less time worrying about and checking your emails, and more time on being productive! That has got to be better for your bottom line.

About the Author

Tracey Lawton is a certified Master Virtual Assistant with many years of experience, helping professional speakers, coaches, and authors operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Visit http://www.traceylawton.com/tips.htm to subscribe to her newsletter, Virtual Solutions, full of tips for operating a more productive business and receive Tracey’s ‘The 7 Key Steps to an Organized and Efficient Office’ special report absolutely free.