According to a 2019 study done by Adobe,
consumers said they spend approximately five hours a day checking and responding to emails - three+ hours on work email, and two+ hours on personal. "
They're refreshing their inboxes from a variety of times and places too: while watching TV, in bed, during work meetings, during meals, while driving - and even in the bathroom."
With all that time spent on email, we figured some time-saving tips might be useful. Here are some of our favorites:
- Don't check email on your phone when on the go (you'll likely have to read it again properly when you sit down). Instead, designate times of day for email and "batch" the task of responding to that time of day.
- Think before you send. Use the "cc" and "bcc" function strategically. The more people you email, the more email you will receive. Limit additional recipients to those who actually need the information.
- Use the Archive Button. The archive button allows you to remove emails from your inbox without actually deleting them. By "archiving" individual messages, they'll immediately become hidden from your inbox and all of your folders. But you can still track them down, if necessary, via the search function.
- Your inbox is not a to-do list. Using email as a to-do list can often lead to missed action items buried in threads. Keep your real to-do list handy when you check your email and be sure to add to-do's on paper or wherever makes the most sense for you. If using a digital to-do list, we recommend one that has a mobile app as well so you can access and add things to it on the go. Here are a few options.
- Use the Boomerang extension to schedule emails to yourself and others in the future and get them out of your inbox (and your brain).
- Use the two minute rule. If it takes less than 2 minutes to reply, do it right now. For longer email responses, batch your time so that you can respond in a more focused and productive way.
- Unroll Me is a great tool to track down all of the lists you may be on-and unsubscribe from those you don't want to hear from.
- Don't respond to emails after hours. By doing so, you are training people to believe you can be reached 24 hours a day. Unplugging is vital for your mental health! Set your phone to "do not disturb" for scheduled times to keep notifications from popping up until the next morning.