Email is an important part of online marketing. We communicate and receive vital business and personal messages through this technology. However, receiving and sending numerous messages a day could be overwhelming for the average business person, and this usually kills productivity.
Radicati Group , in a 2014 report, revealed that a shocking 121 emails is received daily by the average business user. This figure is expected to increase to 131 and 140 in 2016 and 2018 respectively. This obviously tells you that more task lies ahead to curb email overload.
Frequent email could be distractive, disruptive and overwhelming especially if we have to respond to multiple mails that arrives the inbox. . Earnestly, dealing with this productivity-killing email overload has become crucial!
Since email has become an important communication feature of modern business, it is necessary, also, to develop system of curbing the risk posed by overwhelming emails in the inbox.
Here comes — email batching! Yes, email batching is one solution you can apply to control overwhelming mails to increase productivity. It is simply a process whereby you mark out time (one or two hours in day) to check and respond to emails.
Tim Ferris of Four Hour Work Week has used email batching to increase productivity and we can learn from steps he applies.
Step 1: monitor your mails for at least two days to get a clear picture of the busiest time in the inbox. Effectively, this can be done if you take record of the number of mails that reach at the inbox every one or two hours.
Step 2: identify the most active peak hours of mails in the inbox. Step 1 above determines the baseline number of emails you receive on hourly bases, while this step 2 gives you the idea of the specific active peak hours. You can determine if the greatest number of mails arrive between 4 and 5 PM. Or, you can check if your inbox suddenly top out at a particular hour? You get the idea!
Step 3: create a schedule around the peak hours you have identified in step 2. This is when you do the actual ‘batching’. You should rearrange your calendar to check and respond to emails at only those peak hours. There is need for total committed if is to work. Furthermore, you should setup an auto responder to alert those reaching out of your new mail check schedule. This will help you avoid missing out on important mails. The automated messages can alert and encourage senders to call you on phone in case there is an emergency or need for immediate reply.
Finally, these are three steps you can apply to do email batching effectively. You should stay disciplined and stick with the schedule you have created if this is to work for you. This system has worked for Tim Ferris, and it can still work for you as well because it’s very practical!
So, I ask again: What are you doing about productivity-killing email overload?