Brace yourself. You’re about to know exactly how much of your life you’re losing to email.
If you’re an average professional, you check your email 15 times a day. You then spend 64 seconds recovering from checking your email. Then you repeat that process. In the end, you spend 28% of your workweek managing email. If you’re a CEO, that number is only 24%.
If you are thinking, “I spend way too much of my life on email,” you’re not alone. But everyone’s so entangled in the email culture—can you actually escape the vicious cycle? Yes, you can. Here’s how.
Define an Email Schedule
You need to put email where it really belongs on your list of priorities. A great way to do this is to set an email schedule. For most people, checking email once every hour is more than enough. You might even be able to pull off a twice-per-day schedule.
Start by deciding what times you’re going to check your email. Try checking email at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Commit to that. You have more important things to do with your time.
Set Other People’s Expectations
It’s scary, but trust me—people will respect you for this.
Once you’ve determined your email schedule, communicate directly about it with everyone you work with. Explain that you’re more productive when you limit your email use.
For example, you can tell your clients or colleagues that they can expect a response to email within five hours. Encourage people to call you if something urgent comes up.
If you’re an executive, consider rolling this out to your team by setting a service level agreement (SLA) for email. Make it clear that staff should respond to emails within, say, one business day. Consider pairing this SLA announcement with a webcast about how to use email more effectively. Then, sit back and watch productivity soar.
Try Video Conferencing Instead of Long Emails
144 out of the 200 emails an office worker receives each day are irrelevant to them. Long email threads, especially when many people are CC’d and BCC’d, are not efficient. It’s not selfish or rude to draw attention to this: medium-sized businesses waste more than $500,000 per year on inefficient communication—and that’s mostly email. It is worthwhile to build a workflow that encourages true productivity rather than endless email back-and-forth.
Avoid the email back-and-forth and consider the best medium for the task at hand.
Many of our clients use our video conferencing services to do exactly that. With one click, they exit their inboxes and get into a meeting where teamwork can happen in real time. Video conferencing services also integrate with email, so one-off and recurring meetings are easy to schedule and attend.
Want to enjoy the benefits of better collaboration (and waste less time on email)? Learn how GlobalMeet Collaboration can help.