I consistently find leaders and professionals across the globe making the same big mistake — they try to squeeze in handling email between their meetings and other tasks.
My clients receive an average of 100 emails per day. Each email requires an average of two minutes to process, totalling 200 minutes, or 3 hours and 20 minutes per day!
That’s a block of time far too large to squeeze in between other “more important” priorities. It’s no surprise that many clients contact me because they’re feeling overwhelmed by email.
Time-Saving Email Tip #1: Change Your Mindset
One of the first ways I help my clients is to convince them that email is “real work.” It’s communication from team members, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. It takes focus and significant blocks of dedicated time to handle. It’s not something to be done when you have “a few minutes” in between other tasks.
Time-Saving Email Tip #2: Use Mailbutler
Another way I help my clients with email is by recommending tools that can reduce the time it takes for them to process their email. One tool that I’m currently recommending is called Mailbutler.
Mailbutler is a productivity plugin that seamlessly integrates with your favorite email client. It has a host of features that can save you and your team significant time in handling email.
Mailbutler Templates Save You Time Writing Emails
One of my favorite Mailbutler features is called Templates. Most of my clients find themselves sending out similar emails day after day. Rather than having to retype the same sentences, this feature allows my clients to create a template. Then they simply “tweak” the template to personalize it for the recipient. Done!
Using Mailbutler templates can cut down an email response time from two minutes to 30 seconds. If you’re sending a similar email response to 20 people in the same day, using templates can save you 30 minutes per day just for that one basic email response. But if you use a few templates in a day, you can save even more time.
Share Templates With Teams
Better yet, Mailbutler allows you to create templates, and then share them with various teams within your organization. If you’re a leader and you’d like to streamline the language your team members are using, it’s easy to share with others the template you created. Each email can then be easily “tweaked” as needed.
Use “Send Later” to Protect Teams from Burnout
Another Mailbutler feature I really love is “Send Later.” This allows you to schedule your emails to send for a future date and time. As I coach my clients, the “always-on 24/7” work culture made possible by our iPhones and other devices isn’t conducive to sustainable productivity.
In fact, studies show that people who don’t disconnect during weekends and vacations are less productive and more prone to burnout. Read my post, The Importance of Work-Life Balance, for a look at the research behind this finding.
But what does this have to do with the ability to send emails at a future date and time? Well, everything.
With the “Send Later” Mailbutler feature, you can preserve your vacation time or “off-hours,” even if you need to respond by email to a work colleague who is in a different time zone. Rather than interrupt your family dinner to shoot off a quick email about a pressing issue, simply write your email during your own work hours and then schedule it to go out later, when your colleague is at work.
Model Behavior for Team Members
Similarly, if you are a team leader, it’s critical to model behavior that will help your team members feel more energized and motivated at work. To this end, you don’t want to send them email after their work hours or during their vacation time, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
If you’re working different hours than your team members, don’t impose your work schedule on others. Compose your emails whenever it is convenient for you, and schedule them to be sent during regular business hours.
If your colleague is on vacation and you want to message them with an idea that you have now, write your email and then use the Mailbutler “Send Later” feature to schedule your email to send when they’re back at work.
Another Mailbutler feature that can help boost productivity and visibility is the signature function. Easily create one or more eye-catching email signatures. What I love about Mailbutler signatures over other email signature services is that it’s actual text, not an image. So it always appears properly, links are clickable, and the information is easily added to a digital address book.
These Time-Saving Email Tips Are Just the Beginning
If you are drowning in email, definitely consider Mailbutler, especially if you are an Apple Mail user. Apple Mail is missing many of these features.
Mailbutler helps me increase my own productivity and it helps my clients save time. Feeling in control of your email is an important component in effectively managing your workload.
And if you’d like more help boosting your productivity and decreasing your reactivity to email, sign up for my self-paced, video-based Empowered Productivity course. You’ll not only tame your email, but you’ll also learn to use a system to organize all the details of your work, and your life.
If you have questions about Empowered Productivity or anything else, I’m always happy to talk. Contact me and together we can figure out your next best step.