Email can save you lots of time, but if not managed properly it can cost you valuable time as well. When you check email throughout the day you open yourself to constant distraction.
We often find ourselves on mail lists that are of no value to us. Typically there is a link hidden somewhere within the text of each email that allows you to opt out of getting them. Do this!
DELETE WITHOUT READING
Sometimes you’ll receive emails that you know don’t need to be read without even opening them. This is especially true for promotional mailings alerting you to a sale. Simply delete these without taking the time read them.
SET UP SORTING FOLDER
Ideally you will want to respond to a message immediately so that it is not lingering as an undone task. This is not always possible. For that reason it is helpful to set up folders for messages that are awaiting an action. Typically you can get by with 3 folders: answer, do, and save. If you are not able to act immediately on a message forward it to a folder or tag it with a label to answer or act upon it at a later time. If it simply needs to be saved so you’ll have it to reference it can be moved to a saved folder to clear out your inbox.
DESIGNATE TIMES TO CHECK EMAIL
Avoid checking email throughout the day. Instead check it first thing in the morning when you arrive at school to see if there are any messages that are time sensitive or contain information needed for that day (schedule changes, meetings, etc). Delete and sort emails quickly. Designate time after school to check it again and act/respond to the day’s messages as needed. Add these times to your daily schedule to help you stick to them. Be sure to communicate to your students’ families that you typically respond to emails in the afternoon.
TAKE IT OFFLINE
Often we waste time stressing over how to respond or how to word an email tactfully. If you are trying to compose an email and it is taking more than a few seconds of thought it may be best to skip the email and make a quick phone call instead. This is especially true for email where “tone” may be wrongly inferred.
BE AWARE OF THE MESSAGES YOU SEND
Before sending an email ask yourself:
Is this email necessary?
Will this email invite or require a response from the recipient?
Simply put the less email you send, the less email you’ll receive.
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