Help! My email is taking over my life!

‘As soon as I clear my inbox, a new batch arrives – consequently I spend my time
reacting to every new message but not being proactive’.

Does this sound familiar? Our lives are circumscribed around the Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or any device where one can get online: consequently we spend our waking hours reading, replying, copying and deleting. Is any real work ever done and
is this plethora of email really necessary?

However, email is here to stay: so here are my 5 top tips to help you manage it.

1.Bin it!
Utilise your inbox for actions that you need to take: then get rid of the rest. Old
emails just take up space.

2.Get sorted!
After actioning your emails, put them in named folders for quick access. Tidy email folders are a lot easier to handle when you open your in-box.

3.Flag it!
Flag important emails so you can see at a glance exactly what needs to be tackled
immediately.

4.Go off-line!
When you’re trying to concentrate, go off-line. Curiosity may well get the better of
you if you can still hear that ‘ping’ telling you an email has arrived – and
then it is hard to remember what you were doing before it arrived!

5.Less is more!
Keep your emails short and to the point. The less you write, the more likely you’ll get a reply. Write in bullet points and the chances are your answer will be in the same format. However, if you’re just after a chat, then use the phone!

Email is a phenomenal tool for efficient communication. It can take us
from one side of the world to the other in an instant but it needs to be
managed effectively. So, enjoy being in control of your inbox rather than your in-box being in control of you!

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Be Stress Free: Think before you press ‘send’!

Last week’s column about cyber-bullying in Gulf News brought a good deal of correspondence from my readers.

One such was from Sonja, a Senior Manager in a pharmaceutical
company, a position that had taken her over 10 years to achieve.  She wrote to me to say that, at her appraisal meeting, she was told that her formal and blunt emailing style needed to be more ‘friendly’.

She argued that the quantity of email that she had to deal with each day, meant that each one had to be dealt with quickly, and with no real time for pleasantries.

Which leaves the question: could formal and blunt email messages be taken by the recipient as a form of cyber bullying? The answer is, ‘No!’. Cyber-bullying is writing with the intent to humiliate an individual by publishing adverse comment about him or her. Continue reading

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