Time Management Techniques for Effective Email and Communication Management


  Time Management Techniques for Effective Email and Communication Management

For many people, working with email and communications can be a huge time drain. There is no shortage of bad habits when it comes to using email and different communication mediums. Some of these bad habits can drastically reduce productivity, causing you to lose time in your day that could be used towards more productive tasks.

If you want to improve your productivity by cutting down on the time spent re-reading emails or responding to that one "urgent" message, then the best way for you is through effective methods of managing your email and communications based around the three different categories which make up this blog post: Automation, Interaction, Organization.

What are the top 3 ways to keep email, communications, and meetings under control in your life?


Automation is a technique that involves reducing the number of emails you receive throughout the day. With automation, you are no longer responding to every email during your day and instead using software to send out notifications of replies needed or contacts you need to follow up with. Autowatching your inbox helps ensure that you never miss an important communication or run into someone whose emails you cannot respond to. Instead of having hundreds of unread emails from people who do not expect a response, this allows for more time spent on effective communication and lower productivity levels.


Interaction is a more of a manual way of improving your email and communication management. By changing the way in which you interact with people through email and conversation, you can improve how much time is spent on communications. The first step to this is prioritizing your communications. Just like any other part of life, if you are not sure what is important then it will come across as unimportant to you. This means that you need to make sure that all the emails in all of your inboxes are categorized by importance or urgency.

Once this has been done, the majority of emails will be important but low level priority. If an email comes in which is not urgent but still important, you can respond to it during the day. If an email that is urgent comes in, you can use a technique called "The Eisenhower Decision Matrix" to decide which action to take.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a way of separating the importance of a decision based on 2 factors: Importance and Urgency. The most effective way to decide on what actions you should take is by categorizing your decision into 4 quadrants of relevant items.

A decisions urgency will determine what happens next with that item. Urgent and Important items are handled first so that they do not pile up later on during the day or week.

Chronic Issues have a higher level of urgency but only a lower level of importance. These items are handled once they have been dealt with and are not important again until something new comes up.

Low Urgency/Normal Importance items handle when there is time to respond to them but they will not disrupt your day once you do get around to dealing with them.

High Urgency/Low Importance items handle when it is not something that can wait until another time. These items should be dealt with the moment they come in and then follow up later on if necessary.


The final step in effective email management is organization. Organization means keeping track of the important items you receive while staying on top of the urgent items which should be dealt with **NOW**. Keeping a clean inbox and labels on important emails will allow you to keep these items organized as well as make it easier for you to find important emails when needed. If you are an old school email user, then a personal task manager like Leech job or Toodledo is useful for keeping track of what needs doing and whether or not it should be done now or later.

Keeping track of your time and making sure you spend it on what matters will help you to become more productive in the long run. Just like anything else, effective email management is a skill that can be learned and mastered over time. Start by making small adjustments to your daily routine and once you are comfortable the next step will be to start making changes that last longer than a day at work.

As always, I hope this helps someone else out there improve their own time management techniques for working with emails and communications. As always, if there is something which you think should be added or if there is anything which should be changed, then please leave a comment below so we can get some discussion going about this topic.

Click here to ask a question to the author about this post.

This article was previously published in April 2013 and has been updated for accuracy.

Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/services/helpdesk/time-management-techniques-effective-email-and-communication-management/?item=1147360069 – Original Article Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/services/helpdesk/time-management-techniques-effective-email-and-communication-management/?item=1147360069 – Original Article


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