There’s a survey or a statistic for everything these days and some of them can point us to valuable truths about how we work. We have so many ways for emails to find us and demand attention, that managing them can overpower your business.

ABC News ran a survey asking: “How Many Emails Can You Handle a Day?” The answer was that fifty was the maximum most people in the USA could cope with. In an eight-hour working day, if you spent five minutes on each email that is half your day used up. Another survey in The Guardian found that the average office worker receives 121 emails and sends about forty each day. So, finding ways to reduce the impact that emails can have will win you back time.

It can be easy to feel that if you aren’t getting emails then you are out of touch. But how many of the messages you receive in a day actually need your attention? In my eBook “5 steps to managing your emails” I offer some suggestions that will help you escape the email jungle. The Golden Rule that underpins all your interactions with your inbox is "only read emails once”. The five “D's” for email management, do delete, delegate, drag and delay, deal with a lot of deluge and I explain those in the eBook.

Another key to inbox management is to keep it active, don’t allow messages to sit there gathering digital dust. You may have subscribed to lots of newsletters over lockdown, but will you ever now use the gardening, knitting, or cooking tips they contain? Either drag it to a folder or, better, unsubscribe from it. Step two helps you build a filing structure so that every email you need to keep has its place and can be easily found. Step four is one that many people miss. Everything you do to manage your inbox can also apply to your sent items. You may in time want to do the unthinkable, turn off email notifications, but make sure you do that on both your computer and your phone. If you have a task you need to focus on, switch your email off for a while to stop the temptation to look at it.

I shared “5 steps to managing your emails” with a colleague recently and he told me that reading it “opened up new ideas for controlling the flow of emails and freed up time for the important stuff”. You can download the eBook here. I would love to learn about your business and have a discovery call with you to help decide how a Virtual Assistant could work for you. Get in touch to book a free conversation and start a journey to releasing time so you can follow your vision for your business.