Feature

Tip of the week: Don’t be a slave to your inbox

How to manage your e-mail

Step away in the a.m. “Establish your day’s top priorities” before ever opening your inbox. Begin with creative or urgent work first, mail second.

Give it time. Don’t leap to answer every time you hear a new e-mail arrive. “Better yet, turn off the alert sound.” If you must check your inbox regularly, choose as long an interval as possible—try two hours.

Wait to respond, especially to mass e-mails. Ask yourself, “Does everybody really need to weigh in?” Often, interoffice e-mails “generate more work for everyone.”

Single-task. To avoid mistakes, give your full attention to incoming and outgoing messages. “Don’t e-mail while doing something else.”

Lie about your whereabouts. E-mail systems allow you to “create an outgoing message that says you’re out of the office.” You can also use it when you’re in the office and just “need an e-mail break.”

Source: O magazine

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