Do you remember the days when email was exciting? When you’d hear that ding and get excited for a new client or that juicy newsletter from someone you admire? Well, if that once joyful “You’ve Got Mail” feeling has been replaced by email inbox dread, the latest episode of The 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast is definitely for you.
Seeing emails pile up can bring on a great deal of anxiety. It can make you feel like you’re constantly behind and you can end the workday with more emails unread than when the day began. But putting productivity on pause is simply not an option when you’re running your business.
But having a plan and a system you use each day is the best way to tackle your inbox with confidence.
In Episode 11 of The 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship Podcast, we’re talking about managing your email, and here are my four key tips to managing your email inbox:
Tip #1: Unsubscribe to End The Noise
From promo emails to sale notifications things can get pretty crowded. And if you’re living with a personal email and a business email, it can feel like whack-a-mole throughout the day. My best suggestion: but otherwise, get rid of them. If you’re busy and not buying, just save your absolute favorites and ditch the rest.
Trust me, you won’t miss the clutter. And if you miss something you can always resubscribe later. No worries!
Tip #2: Only Check Your Inbox When You Can Respond
Whether it’s off-hours, you’re out with your kids, or you’re in the zone on your latest project, there are times when it’s just going to stress you out to check your inbox.
And that’s okay.
My suggestion here is that you consciously decide that you’ll check your email at a particular time each day. If that’s not how you roll, then I’d encourage you to decide you’ll only check your email when you can respond to it. This skips the anxiety or the “writing the reply in my head” feeling you get when you feel the need to respond right away.
Multitasking and answering emails can lead to miscommunication or missed opportunities so the decision to check your email when you’re focused on that specific task is the way to go.
Plus, you get to show up more fully in whatever you’re doing which is a big impact booster for sure!
Tip #3: Batch Answer Similar Emails
Want an easy way to stay focused when writing or replying to emails?
Try this trick: Go through your email and answer or write emails that are related in some way.
This may mean responding to all emails from clients at once and then moving on to emails from team members and then responding to potential leads.
When you do this you’ll eliminate chunks of your email box at once, build momentum, and feel the progress you’re making.
And, you’ll find it easier to write when you’re dealing with the same audience or subject matter. So you may discover that this makes you an email reply superstar who gets more done in less time just by focusing more effectively.
Tip #4: Use Folders And Filters
Not everything in your email box needs your attention. So, using folders and filters is a great way to make delegation a breeze.
If you get an email that someone on your team needs or should see you can have those emails filtered over to them or create a folder where everything for that team member can live when they’re ready to dive into the inbox.
*Bonus Tool Tip: Schedule emails with Boomerang
I think we’ll all agree that healthy boundaries around your time are essential. But there might be some late nights and weekends where you are checking or answering emails.
One way to maintain your time-related boundaries when those instances occur is to use Boomerang. It’s a plug-in that allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a different time or to have an email you received boomerang back to you at a later date so you don’t forget about it.
As an entrepreneur, you’re not always living a 9-5 life but this tool can help you maintain boundaries as if you are. And those healthy boundaries can really help everyone from you to your clients to your team feel comfortable and confident as they interact with you.
I can’t wait to celebrate all of your Inbox Zero accomplishments!
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a quick review of the latest podcast episodes!
Jennifer Grayeb is the CEO of The Nimble Co, a consulting group focused on helping online business owners better understand their numbers so they can make data-driven and profit-generating marketing decisions.
Jennifer and I talked about how to skip vanity metrics and use data to make more money and better decisions in your business.
In Episode 9 I’m sharing four of my go-to strategies for building a business for the long haul. These strategies are ones that my clients and I use to grow our impact and our bottom lines every day and they’re things you can implement in your business right now.
Kari Elizabeth Enge Kari Elizabeth Enge is the founder and editor in chief of Rank & File Magazine, a publication that shares authentic, vulnerable advice on building a social impact business. She’s also a coach for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Rank & File Magazine has featured notable thought leaders and entrepreneurs such as Simon Sinek, Jessica Honegger, Liz Forkin Bohannon, Caitlin Crosby, and more.
In our conversation, we explored the brain trash we all need to take out to grow as people and as business owners. Her guidance offered practical tips for making these shifts so you can make a real impact in the world around you.