Email is an extremely useful communication tool in business. Less intrusive than a phone call, email is convenient and fast. It empowers entrepreneurs to run their businesses from just about anywhere.
You can communicate with clients and customers, check in with employees and set up important meetings from your office or on the go.
But when used inappropriately, email can hinder productivity. More than one-quarter of a worker’s day on average is spent answering and reading emails, according to research released in 2012 by the McKinsey Global Institute. Its survey found that email is the second-most time-consuming activity for workers, next to “role-specific tasks.”
Business leaders, CEOs and managers often receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails a day. Reading and responding to every message can become a drain on time and energy.
A cluttered email inbox — filled with old, unopened or unimportant messages — will not only frustrate you. It will prevent you from maximizing your time and distract you from other obligations.
Here are four strategies to better manage your email and keep the messages in your inbox to a minimum.
Don’t leave your email program open all day long. Alerts and beeps from incoming messages can interrupt your work flow and leave you unfocused.
Instead, schedule specific blocks of time throughout the day for checking your email. You might even try marking your calendar and setting your availability to “busy.”
If necessary, turn off your cellphone and shut your office door to prevent interruptions by family members (if you work from home) or employees.
Craft an email reply like this one cited by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Work Week:
“Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00pm ET [or your time zone] and 4:00pm ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00pm or 4:00pm, please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.”
The amount of time required for reviewing email and replying will depend on how frequently you check messages and how many you typically receive. Some entrepreneurs find it more effective to dedicate 10 minutes every hour to email. Others prefer to only check email just two or three times a day.
Making quick decisions and pursuing immediate action will help keep your email inbox under control. The idea is to not delay until tomorrow what can be accomplished right away.
When you check your messages, browse the inbox for emails that can be immediately deleted such as spam or promotional emails. Then select messages that don’t require a response and delete or archive them. Once you’ve pared down the number of messages in your inbox, you’ll be able to better evaluate which ones are the most critical.
Don’t let important emails sit in your inbox for days. Unless you’re on vacation, respond within 48 hours. Reply to the sender as soon as you’ve read his or her message.
If you’re unable to respond immediately, communicate to the sender that you received the message and will be in touch shortly. Set a deadline and follow up.
Although a majority of emails can be deleted, you’ll most likely want to retain messages related to key aspects of your business. Correspondence between clients, colleagues and employees can help clarify any miscommunications. Most email programs let users mark messages with specific labels or categories.
Prioritize, group, sort and file messages to keep your inbox organized. The better your filing system, the easier it will be to locate specific emails when you need them. Create parent categories for broad subjects such as the following: clients, projects and finances.
Then use subcategories to file emails related to specific clients or projects. Before you file a message, ensure the subject line is search-friendly. If it doesn’t accurately describe the content of the email, edit the subject line before it’s categorized and archived.
Newsletters and advertisements can overwhelm your inbox and bury important messages. Clean out the clutter.
Unsubscribe from receiving messages from specific senders if you no longer want to receive their missives or don’t have the time to read them. To make the unsubscribe process quick and painless, search your inbox for the term “unsubscribe.” Review the search results and determine whose emails you would continue to welcome and the missives you would prefer to live without.
Developing an active HR function in your business show that you value your employees and their business in your enterprise Growing startups and small and..
Nothing is better for the bottom line than employees who are motivated to work for psychic benefits. Are you looking for ways to motivate your..
In our world in general, but especially in the workplace, change is a continual presence. Whether it's driven by new technology, shifts in the market,..
The power of one is mesmerizing. We don't realize it, but it can change how we see things. It can help us focus and help..
As a startup founder, you’d usually spend a large part of your time trying to get various people to do new things. On one side,..
“Why do we keep following the process if it doesn’t work?” You’ve probably heard something to the effect of this before or have even said..
Are you the type of workaholic that has a difficult time sitting still during holidays? Do you typically go stir crazy during family visits or..
It happens all the time. You start out the day with great intentions to get that financial report done or to work on your marketing..
With nearly a billion members worldwide, LinkedIn is the most powerful professional platform for connecting with others, bar none. That fact is not lost on..
A lot can be riding on the outcome of corporate brainstorming sessions. The list includes the need to come up with ideas for the creation..
HR activities at startups are often reactive in nature instead of proactive. That leaves gaps in the system. When starting their businesses, most entrepreneurs tend..
Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off,” while in others the lines are blurred — or potentially nonexistent...
Motivating yourself is hard. In fact, I often compare it to one of the exploits of the fictional German hero Baron Munchausen: Trying to sustain..
One of the major plots of the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade revolves around the search for the Fountain of Youth — some magical..
Not long ago, I received a call from an HR manager at a large corporation seeking an executive coach for one of their senior leaders...
I recently spent a month interviewing the group heads of a large financial services company in order to understand how their direct reports need to communicate..
The summer vacation season may be behind us, but the holidays are right around the corner. And soon enough your colleagues may be asking you..
I recently met with a group of managers to discuss ways to improve meetings. Our goal was to figure out how to create a space..
Extroversion and introversion are used to define two ends of a personality spectrum. People can have a mix of introverted and extroverted traits, and we..
We’ve all been there. You email someone asking for a conversation, information, input, or an introduction, and you get no response. Whether you are reaching..
Whether you’re looking to leave your current position for an opportunity that your company couldn't offer, or perhaps for a completely new career, or a..
Talking about office disasters is key to better productivity and healthy competition. We all have our share of office-related horror stories. From the incorrect market..
There’s that project you’ve left on the backburner – the one with the deadline that’s growing uncomfortably near. And there’s the client whose phone call..
What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Vision, forward-thinking, risk-taking abilities, determination, hard work, dedication, a good game plan…. Most of us are aware..
Should you stay in your current role in hopes of a promotion or make a lateral, internal job change? That question will be familiar to..
It’s time to face the situation and to find out what you can do in order to break the dangerous cycles. Here are 5 main..
For many people, giving and receiving feedback can be incredibly stressful. When you have poured your heart and soul into your work, having someone offer..
As the year is slowly coming to an end, it's a great time to gaze into our crystal balls and see what may happen in..
Back when our Facebook design team still fit around a conference table, a new designer joining our merry band was a momentous event. Everyone loved..
Finding good people is hard, but it's the only way to build a company that can succeed in the long term. Not that long ago,..
In 2018, I came across a meme that was going viral on the Internet. It read, “You have the same number of hours in the day..
Creating a learning culture in the workplace is all about fostering an environment that empoweres people to pursue knowledge. This is important for individual evolution,..
When was the last date you took a vacation? Did you know that not taking a break also has consequences? The Mexican startup Worky, a..
Here's how to jumpstart your career and achieve meaningful success by age 30. It’s no secret that with age, comes wisdom (generally speaking). Over the years, I’ve..
It is crucial to tap into the different personality traits in your workplace to cultivate a supportive, inclusive atmosphere. There are extensive studies in personality..
The summer season can make it hard to focus on work. And if you work from home, it is that much more challenging. For example,..
Regardless of industry, job hunting remains a competitive process. Potential employees often look for out-of-the-box ways to distinguish themselves from other candidates; however, they still..
Did you know that Beyonce’s shy? Most people don’t expect this, because she’s so hugely successful and we tend to equate success with outgoing people...
The power of one is mesmerizing. We don't realize it, but it can change how we see things. It can help us focus and help..
Dr. Robert Cialdini is the CEO of Influence at Work, the author of New York Times bestseller Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion, and an expert..
Establishing a personal brand is critical for future success. A muddled idea of who you are or what you can offer can mean a lot..
If there’s one thing the pandemic has brought into clear focus, it’s what each of us considers important—especially at work. Diversity, equity and inclusion, and..
The world is constantly changing, and successful organizations adapt to new circumstances. The ability of organizations to adapt depends on their professionals being willing and..
Faced with increasing challenges, there are new shifts and changes in today’s corporate world. High levels of competition, new technological advances, demographic adjustments, political turbulence,..
Where do you see yourself in five years? Anyone who thought they knew where their lives would be five years ago is probably re-evaluating their..
Your boss may be extremely clear in spelling out your job expectations, setting goals, adding to your do-list and measuring your performance, but she may..
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an interruption for businesses around the globe. It is an unsettling time for everyone as we are all unsure of..
I got into management earlier than many of my friends and colleagues, and now I find myself becoming the go-to resource for when they're struggling..
It’s time all organizations make what could be the most strategic decision in decades regarding organizational structure: Move the learning and talent development functions out..
According to anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell, who pioneered the original study of nonverbal communication called "kinesics," face-to-face conversation is less than 35% verbal. In comparison, more than..
How to adopt the “us versus the problem” rather than a “you versus me” mind-set. Your first step in resolving a conflict should be to..
Ever find that it’s noon and you haven’t accomplished anything on your to-do list? Get a productive jump-start on the day with these tasks. I..
Fascinated by habits and patterns, I started to observe and pay attention to find value in my day-to-day activities — the ones we always do..
You can hire the best team in the world, but if they can't communicate well, you won't get very far. A business owner I know..
Raising awareness is the key to inclusion. We’re all fighting against centuries of conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace. The first step is acknowledging..
People-pleasers often find themselves doing things they don’t want to do and putting the needs of others ahead of their own. When they’re asked to do..
Today’s organizations spend considerable time and energy selecting and recruiting creative talent. And rightly so. Creative employees help their organizations survive and remain relevant in..
People who are on the job hunt regularly feel dejected and disenchanted with the interview process. They'll point to a multitude of reasons as to..
“It’s a new goal-setting framework.” That was one of my large enterprise clients’ attempt at an inspirational rallying cry for their rollout of Objectives and..
When you’re in between jobs, it's an overwhelming experience. There’s an overflow of too much well-intentioned advice. Everyone’s telling you what you must absolutely do..
What do you do? It’s a question that comes up repeatedly at both virtual and in-person networking events. It’s a dreaded question. You tell people..
You walk through the revolving door of the lobby toward the elevator, soaking in your surroundings—there’s not a familiar face in the building. You straighten..
“I blew it,” said my client, Deborah, a sales exec with a mid-sized tech company. Her conversation with another executive had not gone very well...
When you’re on the job hunt or navigating the upward trajectory of your career, sometimes you just need a little pep talk. It can be..
Back in the day, company leadership would decree their mission and hand down their goals to all their employees. While a few companies still do..
People have been furloughed or let go at alarming rates these past few months. Never before has the job market experienced this type of shift...
Arguably, mornings are the most important part of the day. They can springboard us into a day filled with productivity and inspiration or trigger our..
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused devastation and destruction. It's not just a health crisis any longer. The outbreak and governmental measures enacted to deal with..
“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone,” goes the song. For decades, singers have crooned about the power of smiling..
Here’s How You Can Be Indispensable At Work During the pandemic as workers adjusted to working from home as many people work even harder than..
10 Things You Need To Know To Win In Business And Life “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are..
Landed Out Of Work? Ten Ways To Reset Your Mindset If you've been furloughed or laid off in recent months, you’re in the company of..
Recruiters Share 9 Mistakes Job Seekers Are Making Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic Beyond the enormous human toll coronavirus has had over the past few weeks,..
Your Words Have Impact, So Think Before You Speak Do you know of those people who fly off the handle without stopping to think about..
Why Empathy Is One of the Most Overlooked Skills in Business It was a sunny day in April. The air was crisp and the walk..
In a difficult job market, you may find yourself needing to consider job openings that wouldn’t be on your radar during normal times. While all..
How To Job Hunt During The Coronavirus Pandemic Caroline CastrillonContributorCareersI write about career, entrepreneurship and women’s advancement. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over..
The Zero-Sum Mindset: How to Avoid Toxic Thinking in Moments of Crisis Believing that in order to win, others must fail is a critical mistake..
Now’s The Time To Build A Virtual Super-Team. Here’s How. Before the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 outbreak, millions of Americans worked from home. Suddenly, tens of..
The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity Working remotely isn’t a new concept. People in all kinds of career fields have been doing..
Retain More Employees With Stay Interviews Employees are quitting in droves, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, backed up by hard data from..
3 Ways To Promote Yourself And Advance Your Career For Free In today’s digital world, if you don’t have a stellar social media presence, you..
Hire Without Looking At A Resume We’re all more than what’s on our resume. But while a lot of leaders pay lip service to that..
8 Things You Should Not Do In Meetings Meetings are perhaps the most powerful personal branding tool there is—when you master them. They also make..
What Are The Top 10 Soft Skills For The Future Of Work? The future of work is likely to herald a wide range of new..
Resolution Hacks That Actually Work It’s that time of year again, when we all make New Year's resolutions. But will this year be any different..
Move Over, Work-Life Balance. Hello, Work-Life ‘Integration’ As a busy executive, Margaret Keane has had to find creative ways to fit time with her family..
How To Turn Down A Job Offer Without Burning Bridges Sometimes you have to make the difficult decision to turn down a job offer. It’s..
How To Spend Your Working Day Wisely And Actually Get Things Done Time doesn’t discriminate. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company with an overloaded..
How To Prove You Can Do The Job, Even Without Direct Experience "Tell me about a time you...." As a career switcher, you may be..
7 Unexpected Career Detours That Can Benefit You When most professionals introduce themselves or create a LinkedIn profile, they appear to have a smooth, well-planned..
Four Myths You Should Ignore If You Want To Advance Your Career In today’s competitive corporate landscape, standing still is equivalent to moving backward. No..
Six Sacred Rules For Personal Branding In The Digital World Everything has gone digital – including you. The move to all things digital may have..
3 Things You Need To Know About An October Job Search Seasonal timing has a large impact on a job search. It can work in..
Belonging At Work Is Essential—Here Are 4 Ways To Foster It In the complex study of human psychology, one finding is remarkably consistent: our well-being..
How To Avoid The Five Emotional Pitfalls Of A Job Search Spoiler alert: your job search will be anxiety-inducing, frustrating, and at times, painful. It..
11 Signs You're Not Managing Your Calendar Effectively Time to admit there's a better way to stay on top of your appointments. If you’re like..
How To Make A Great First Impression At Your New Job You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count...
How To Connect With Your Company's Purpose And Values Some employees feel fully inspired by their company's mission, vision and values. But they don’t just mindlessly glug the Kool-Aid—they connect on a deep,..
What Not To Do After A Job Interview The waiting period after a job interview can be one of the most stressful times. You’ve done..
3 Surprising Reasons Your Job Search Still Isn't Working It’s been months into your job search and you’re just about ready to pull your hair..
Why Attitude Is More Important Than IQ When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to..
Video Interviewing: Lights, Camera -- But No Connection Nothing screams “personal” more than you on a 20-inch video monitor, beaming in from a remote location..
Overloaded And Overwhelmed? Four Things You Can Control When Your Workload Is Out Of Control Our research indicates a terrifying 43% of knowledge workers do..
A Career Summer Checkup For Professional Growth Whether you’re graduating college or gearing up for your first fiscal year-end performance conversation, the summer months represent..
6 Steps To Unleash Your Inner Polymath And Thrive At Work In a previous article I explored some of the virtues of striving for a..
The One Daily Action That Will Make You More Successful And Happier At Work In our fast-paced world where we have more to do than..
Congratulations! You got the job. Now for the hard part: deciding whether to accept it or not. How should you assess the salary as well..
What It Takes To Be A Great Employee: The Parable Of The Oranges Being a great employee pays off with better positions, higher pay, and..
10 Essential Strategies To Succeed In Your First Job Congratulations, graduate! After the exhausting and stressful process of finishing school, searching for and landing your..
How To Escape The Procrastination Doom Loop When you imagine a highly productive person, you likely think of someone who focuses effortlessly on the job..
8 Clues That a Candidate Will be an Exceptional Employee Over the past 40 years, I have reviewed at least 30,000 resumes and LinkedIn profiles..
4 Smart Ways to Increase Employee Retention Keeping your employees once you have them is a thorny problem in the staffing services industry. The difficulty..
Here's How To Recover From A Career Setback Whether you’ve botched an interview question, cancelled an important meeting last-minute or missed a typo in an..
10 Tips for an Effective Meeting
Here’s what recruiters look for on a candidate’s social media profile Maintaining the right balance between being professional and being yourself on social media can..
How to conduct an effective job interview As the employment market improves and candidates have more options, hiring the right person for the job has..
14 Things You Should Never, Ever Say In A Job Interview It’s always intimidating to interview for a new job, whether you’re fresh out of..
How To Answer Why You Left (Or Want to Leave) Your Employer If you want the job, don't reveal this. Job interviews are designed to..
Here's how to write a LinkedIn summary that could help you land your dream job, according to a marketing director at LinkedIn You might approach..
14 Ways to Stay Focused at Work Through the Holidays We’re in the midst of the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties,..
3 Ways You Can Help Your New Hires to Succeed Filling a vacant position is expensive, and unless you do these three things, it's liable..
Three Ways To Prevent Someone From Stealing Your Spotlight In A Meeting We've all been there at one point or another. You're in a meeting,..
Are your employees integrators or segmentors? An organization has both integrators and segmentors. Being a segmentor is a tough ask. If you choose to be..
Updating Your Résumé Might Mean Updating Yourself It seems like a total no-brainer: you should update your résumé and online profiles when you are job..
Putting Yourself In Drive: How To Tap Into Your Motivation The one common component in every great success story is motivation: an ever-elusive elixir that..
How To Bounce Back When The Job Search Gets You Down With a dream job in mind, an updated résumé in hand and responses to..
When 'What Happens In Vegas' Ends Up In Your Job Search What happens in Vegas really doesn’t stay there. That “funny” picture about that..
How To Develop More Emotionally Intelligent Employees In the quest to develop leaders who will foster a culture of equity and inclusion in the workplace,..
5 Steps to Hiring the Right People for Your Business "Hire slow, fire fast" is great advice, but it's not always easy to follow. The..
4 Entry-Level Jobs That Will Prep You for Entrepreneurial Success Success is a journey, not a destination, so think hard about where to start. Entrepreneurship..
How to get back on track when you’re having an unproductive day A rocky start shouldn’t dictate your entire workday. Do these things to reverse..
Your Workforce Tools Are More Strategic Than You Might Think This is not a typical article about attracting talented job candidates or retention — while..
Don’t Let ‘Meaning’ Be Missing From Your Engagement Strategy Meaning is one of the five keys in building employee engagement and it may be the..
4 Ways To Inspire Change In Your Employees Have you ever listened to a speech that inspired you so much, you were ready to make..
7 Ways to Incent Employees to Feel and Act as Owners Building accountability into your business culture is a leadership process. It can't be driven..
Don't Shuffle People Into the Wrong Job Just Because They're Already on the Payroll You grow your company by putting proven performers where you need..
Tips for Minimizing Workplace Negativity To Deal with Negativity in the Workplace, Use These 9 Tips Nothing affects employee morale more insidiously than persistent workplace..
This Is the No. 1 Reason Why People Fail at Switching Jobs (and What to Do About It) There's a reason changing careers is so..
Didn't Get Your Dream Job? This 1 Technique Could Get You a Second Chance Every job seeker experiences this at least once, if not several..
The Best Way to Set New Employees Up for Success Create an onboarding program that's both meaningful and memorable Congratulations; you've just hired a terrific..
Do This In Your First Hour, Day, Week, And Month Of Your New Job Getting settled into your new job is the ultimate act of..
7 Ways Modest Leadership Increases Team Success When we imagine the traits of successful leaders, whether they are managers, high level executives, CEO's or owners..
Managing employee stress during the festive period More than half of employees feel stressed in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with most calling for..
How to Avoid the No. 1 Reason People Leave Their Jobs William James, the father of psychology, stated that the most fundamental psychological need is..
Nine Things You Should and Shouldn't Do If You Lose Your Job Most of us wouldn’t think to associate the words "joblessness" and "fun," but..
It's all about potential: how to write a CV with no work experience Follow these tips to stand out among competing candidates – from research..
The Best Ways to Reward Employees. Having an effective reward program in place can help solve many of your HR issues. Every company needs a..
Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness More and more people are feeling tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the..
People Don’t Take HR Seriously; Here’s Why That’s Dangerous Legacy beliefs like being the bad guy and a lack of strategic vision isolates HR, and..
Think Strategically About Your Career Development In a world where the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day and attends an average of..
Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion Leaders have long recognized that a diverse workforce of women, people of color, and LGBT individuals confers a competitive edge..
How To Advance Your Career In A Crappy Entry-Level Job Yes, you can still bring yourself one step closer to snagging that dream job even..
What causes burnout and how it can affect both the employees and the organisation How HR Can Help Prevent Employee Burnout An engaged workforce. It's..