Email management

Video 7 of 10
1 min 45 sec
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Emails are a vital part of the working toolbox.  They provide information and documents which are instant and worldwide. The problem is that sometimes you can find yourself with an inbox that keeps growing and there are so many emails that you are distracted from the work that you are trying to complete.  Dealing with excessive emails also can leak into your personal life where you sort and deal with emails out of work time as you know you have no time to do them in your working day.

There is a process called the 4 “D’s” which are delete, do, delegate and defer.

The delete means many of your emails are something that can just be deleted. It may be spam or emails that just say “thanks”.  If you need the email but do not need to do anything with it, you can file it away.  If you are on someone’s email list and you do not want the emails, it is worth unsubscribing then you should not get any more later on rather than just deleting it.

The Do is where the email is urgent or it may be something that you can complete very quickly.

Delegate means can you forward the email to someone else to deal with or maybe you have just been copied in on an email and it is someone else who is best placed to answer it. If you are delegating work make sure you delegate it to the right person and that they can cope with completing it.

And finally, defer.  An email that needs to be answered but you do not have time to do it now, you can defer it and a good way of still tracking them is to use colour coded tags so easily see what you need to do when you get more time.