Gain An Hour Per Day With Email Savings Time!


The end of Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner and you know what that means: We’re all about to lose an hour!

Okay, okay, we don’t really “lose” an hour, but with the clocks being shifted back an hour it certainly feels like it. So, in response to the end of Daylight Savings Time, I’d like to propose that we begin Email Savings Time! This means that starting on November 6th, everyone reclaims an hour per day from their inbox by managing their email more effectively and efficiently.

I know at this point some people will say to themselves, “But Marsha, I don’t even spend that much time in my inbox. How can I even reclaim an hour per day from working on email?”

My answer would be that most people don’t even realize how much time they spend on email. Here are the facts: On a daily basis, knowledge workers (basically anyone who works on a computer) handle an average of about 110 emails. They spend roughly 25 percent of their time working on emails and visit their inbox 50 times per day. Over the course of a year, this adds up to 500 hours and 12,500 inbox visits per worker!

So with this in mind, let’s not lose an hour each day when Daylight Saving Time ends, let’s take back an hour (or more) with Email Savings Time. Here’s how to do it.

1) Check Your Inbox Five Times Daily (Or Less)

Shut down the entire inbox and open it a maximum of five specific times each day. In even the most demanding work offices, five inbox checks a day will allow you to open your inbox nearly every 90 minutes during an eight hour day. If someone needs something in sooner than 90 minutes, they should call.

2) Simplify Your Messages

First, make sure your writing is as clear and as concise as possible. Put the main points of your email in the first sentences and avoid abbreviations. Reduce back and forth emails by using “If, Then” statements and list a number of different options for your reader to choose from.

Second, pick up the phone more! Email is not a substitute for conversation. It’s a tool to share data. Before you click send, ask yourself if it will require more than two emails from you. If the answer is yes, pick up the phone and make the call.

3) Clean Out Your Inbox

The average worker gets about 110 emails a day. That means if you check your inbox five specific times a day you will have around 22 messages to “empty” each time. Emptying means that you delete each email or sort it into a folder where it can be easily retrieved later. Using this method you will be able to triage and streamline your email tasks, saving you time and sanity!

By using these three tips, any knowledge worker can reclaim at least an hour per day and boost their productivity. And while your co-workers may have to stay late to finish up a project, you’ll be taking off from the office early, enjoying the daylight, and reaping the benefits of Email Savings Time!

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