Email is a wonderful invention but it can also be a massive time waster. Here are a few tips and tricks to prevent you becoming overwhelmed.
* Set aside time to read your incoming emails at certain times of the day.
* To avoid being interrupted by incoming emails, deactivate the function telling you an email has arrived (usually a sound alert), or turn the volume right down so that the chime or sound can’t be heard.
* Make the most of your anti-spam settings (or get your Information Technology [IT] team to set them up for you).
* Make sure your computer software is up to date, including anti-virus filters. If you’re not sure how to load up or activate anti-virus filters, find out by going online, or seek professional support.
* Make sure your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is dealing with as much spam as possible and check the anti-spam settings on your computer.
* Sort incoming emails quickly, deleting as you go (always delete emails with attachments from unknown senders).
* Limit the use of your primary email address to avoid being flooded with spam (and jokes). Set up two addresses: one for work-related email and the other for staying in touch with friends.
* Unsubscribe from e-newsletters you don’t have time to read.
* Downloading emails on a mobile phone or PDA can take a long time, but some smart phones now compress emails before they hit your inbox. This saves time, especially if pictures or documents are attached.
* If you need a quick reminder to do something when you get home, send yourself an email from work.