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Overwhelmed by the Daily Deluge of E-mail?

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Copyright © 2005 Kinesis, Inc.

Part of being an effective marketer is being an effective time manager. The little time suckers in our workday can collectively add up to a LOT of time taken away from our core functions and billable work. One of the biggest time drainer is our In-Box.

Tame your e-mail beast by mastering the art of email management. This will reduce your stress, streamline your workflow, and improve your efficiency. Here are some strategies you can implement:

1. Avoid Constant Interruptions: Turn off your auto send/receive or set it to a reasonable timeframe, like every hour or two. Some people find they are most productive at certain times of the day - like early morning. If this is true for you, regularly block out that chunk time and DON'T check your e-mails until afterwards. You will be amazed at what a huge difference this one change will make in your workday.

2. Respond with Brevity: If possible, reply with an action-oriented 1-2 line response. Always keep your messages under 10 sentences. Communicate your main point in the first sentence or two. Then delete or file the email, and get back to work!

3. Use Proper Grammar: Do NOT bypass standard grammar and punctuation. Create a well-written message. It will save your recipient time, as well.

4. Break Up Topics: Use separate paragraphs or bulleted lists when possible to save time for your reader. Get in the habit of doing this and people will tend to respond in kind. It saves time when you can scan lists quickly.

5. Use the Subject Line: Make sure you are very descriptive in the subject line. Or, use the subject line for the entire message: Meet 10:00, 5/30 Ok? You can establish agreements within your office to use codes in the subject line like NT for No Text and NRN for No Reply Needed.

6. Don’t Break for E-zines: If you are like me, you get a lot of professional e-zines. These are interesting and important for our continuing education. However, they can also serve as easy distractions from the task at hand. Instead of taking the time to read each one as it is received, stick them all in a folder labeled “Ezines” and reserve time each day or even each week to read them all at once.

ACTION ITEM: This week, take 3 steps toward taming your e-mail monster! Ideas: Talk to your office and set up agreements with internal e-mails. Create e-mail folders that will help you organize your inbox. Reset your auto email send/receive.

I hope this gives you some great ideas to reduce inbox clutter and streamline your communications. I’m not a natural organizer, but the more I create new time management habits, the more I find time for creativity and my core business strategies.

Work smarter, not harder!

Wendy Maynard, the Marketing Maven, publishes REMARKABLE MARKETING, a weekly ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, get your FREE TIPS now at http://www.gomarketingmaven.com

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