Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Reducing Email Overwhelm, Part 1

If you are a successful entrepreneur or online business executive, you most likely could be experiencing email overwhelm. Emails of companies you never subscribed to and that of events you never plan to attend may visit your inbox regularly. The major irritants are the ones that try to market their goods to every human being on the planet. Equally annoying are the emails that you subscribed to, which do not provide any content of value, carrying only a sales objective.

Email overwhelm or inbox flooding stifles our productivity. It saps time and energy and creates confusion in our task priorities. Typically, email overwhelm can cause one or more of these consequences:  a) We miss important emails  b) We spend a major portion of our time checking and reading email c) We are not able to give prompt responses, thereby missing important opportunities.

Segmenting email addresses is one way of tackling this issue. You need to have at least four email addresses for this:

1. Your ‘normal’ email address: The one that you give to those in your close circle.

2. Your private email address: You can give this email address exclusively to VIP clients and to your staff. You need to educate your staff that it is only for emergencies and time sensitive material.

       3. Your subscription email address: You can use this email address to subscribe to events (opting in for a teleseminar) or portals (purchasing a laptop). There are many reasons for this: mainly, newsletters are not critical or time sensitive. A big one is that mailing lists are hacked all of the time. Having an email address for this purpose assures that Viagra emails will not flood your primary inboxes.

       4. Departmental email address: This could turn into more than one email address—accounting@, humanresources@ etc. Small organizations can use assistant@; your Virtual Assistant can manage it for you. They can organize or filter your data in a systematic fashion – adding invoices to your ‘to pay list’, entering a receipt in QuickBooks, scheduling an appointment for an HR interview, etc.

With several different email addresses you create an automatic sorting system that immediately prioritizes the items the flow into your inbox. All it takes is the setup of separate inboxes and a simple filter to tell your email program which email address belongs to which inbox.  That way you can always focus on your priorities first and avoid missing important opportunities. Again, a Virtual Assistant can easily setup these new email addresses and create the filtering needed for your inbox. No need to leave this task sitting at the bottom of your to-do list.

 photo credit: novemberwolf

Posted on February 4th, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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