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E-Mail Success – By Wolfgang Halliwell

Posted January 3rd, 2008

I returned to work today after a 2 week Christmas vacation and opened my inbox with some trepidation. After a similar break last year I had returned form holiday with over 400 e-mails awaiting my attention. It took me a couple of days to deal with these so I vowed there and then that this would never happen again. One of my New Years resolutions at the beginning of 2007 was to take control of my e-mail inbox. Today would prove one way or the other whether the action I took worked.I opened my inbox and found only 32 items awaiting me. Thirty minutes later and my inbox was empty. Complete success!So, what did I do to achieve this? The good news is that this is not rocket science and a few simple steps have achieved this result. The action I took in 2007 included:

  1. Always remembering to set my out of office message when I was away for more than a day.
  2. Unsubscribing to newsletters and update services unless I really needed them.
  3. Agreeing a few ground rules with colleagues about when and when not to use e-mail.
  4. Using the telephone a lot more to avoid those unproductive games of e-mail tennis.
  5. Delegating or redirecting some of my e-mail to other people when appropriate.

None of this took very long to do but the results have been really spectacular for me. If you suffer from an overfull inbox you might find some of the techniques I have listed are of some help.Of course, there is also a need to manage your e-mail once you have got it, but that is the topic for another posting.This article relates to our training course material, ‘Managing E-Mails’, which you can find on our website by clicking here.

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