Professional Organizing Tips and Resources.
Do you have too many emails and can’t get to everything, yet don’t want to leave your co-workers and clients hanging wondering if you even opened their email? Then like with the mail you should open and decide on each message right away and preferably over the trash.
If you find yourself reading all your emails in a row and then afterwards re-reading the important ones and only then respond or perhaps sometimes letting hours or days pass before returning them or forgetting about them altogether try applying the “one-touch” rule.
For example, if an email comes in that requires no return mail and no follow up file it away in its appropriate folder or delete it immediately. Or if something comes in that requires you to take action soon, yet not at the very moment, make a calendar or task appointment to remind you to take action when you know you will have time, and then immediately following this file away the email into it’s appropriate folder. Here is where spending time to set up good folder systems within your email to find the emails again when you need them will become imperative.
For emails that regularly come in yet you know in advance that they will not require your immediate attention and can be put off until you require the information, such as newsletters or the odd report, set your email with a “Rule” to file away the email into the appropriate folder automatically. You can then look at it when you have time or even set a reoccurring calendar appointment to remind you to check it when you know you will have time to do so.
If you do get an email and the sender is in need of a response sooner than you know you will be able to give an appropriate one, try not to leave them stranded, wondering if their email was overlooked or forgotten, and send them a brief note as to when they can expect a proper answer. At least this way they will rest assured you have acknowledged them and will be more apt to wait patiently until they hear from you again.
As things are easier said then done, be sure that you set an appropriate reminder for yourself to get back to people when you said you would. Give yourself a bit of a buffer if you feel you need it too, because as they say “It is better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver”.
For more tips and information on email management and email etiquette start by checking out the “Top 26 Most Important Rules of Email Etiquette” http://email.about.com/od/emailnetiquette/tp/core_netiquette.htm
Need help organizing? Michelle serves the Carleton Place, Lanark County and Ottawa areas.