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Top tips from Mesmo Consultancy (and Associates) on how to save time and improve business and personal performance by ‘Taking Control of your Inbox’ and using proper business email etiquette.

International Clean Out Your Inbox Week: Day 4 The Power of Proper Business Email Etiquette

Thursday January 24th, 2019, 5:41 pm

Day 4 – Proper Business Email Etiquette to Keep the Inbox Clean

I can feel the twinkle of his eyes in his handshake.  Helen Keller

Good business email etiquette  is one of the quickest ways to stop email overload. Proper business email etiquette enables you to convey the right message, right first time.  This reduces the chance of a misunderstanding and hence email war and endless rounds of email ping-pong. will help.  You have less than five seconds before the recipient has formed an opinion of you for better or worse.  Poor email etiquette can damage your reputation in a nanosecond.  Proper business email etiquette grabs their attention substantially increases the likely-hood of a timely response.

Based on using brilliant email etiquette, here are today’s four steps to reduce even further the level of email overload and hence keep the inbox clean and empty.

Step 1 – Benchmark your business email etiquette

Use our special free email Business Etiquette Check List to benchmark your email etiquette.  Where and how can you improve?

Step 2 – Review your inbox for existing chains

Are there any email chains which could have been prevented if you had either communicated more clearly or planned ahead?  What lessons can you learn from these?

Step 3 – Review your email before hitting send

Ask yourself, what image am I conveying of myself? How clear and concise is my email based in the checklist at Step 1. Brilliant Emailsecretary1

Did you include an adequate greeting and closure to entice the recipient to respond properly?  For more tips on how email etiquette can help you achieve an empty inbox and reduce email overload see Brilliant Email chapter 12 and ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox‘ chapter 11.

Step 4 – Help others improve their business email etiquette

Be bold. If you receive an email you cannot understand on the first reading, ask the sender what they are trying to say.  Send them a link to our Email Etiquette Checklist.

Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There is a prize for the person who has used email etiquette most effectively (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘).

For more resource

Invest in a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or for ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’ (written especially for PAs, EAs and VAs).

Tomorrow we look at how to reduce the volume of email traffic through your inbox.

Dare to share

Share your progress; Email; Facebook: Twitter (using #cleaninbox) There is prize for the person with the best way of keeping track of emails on which you defer action (copy of ‘Brilliant Email’ or ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’).

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

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Linkedin, Google+ etc.

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International Clean Out Your Inbox Week 2019 Day 3 – Reduce Business Email Overload

Wednesday January 23rd, 2019, 11:30 am

Day 3 – How to Reduce Email Overload

Develop an uncanny ability to be selectively ignorant.  Timothy Ferriss.

Stressed by business email overload?  What is the effect of email overload on your mental health?  Studies show its profound.  During day three of clean inbox week, we use email management techniques to reduce the the business email overload so that and you continue to enjoy a clean inbox.  Deleting simply is not an option. You have be proactive and keep all unwanted emails out of your inbox and reduce the number of times you check for new email.

Step 1 – Prioritise each new email you receive today 

How many of the emails you receive do you really need?  Triage your emails as you deal with them.  Ask yourself  ‘Do I really need this email?’ ‘How useful is this to me?’  For more guidance on prioritising see Brilliant Email chapter 3 and ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox”  if you are a PA or EA.

Step 2 – Stop all non-essential emails from reaching your inbox

For all those low priority emails, either get yourself off the sender’s list or automatically move them out of your inbox so they don’t distract you from the really important ones.   Your inbox should be your ‘work in hand’ just like an old fashioned in-tray.  Ways to reduce the incoming email traffic and hence email overload are:

  • Unsubscribe.
  • Ask the sender to remove you from their list.
  • Use rules to send them automatically to a folder/Trash.

Click here to see how to write rules that allow you see only the important emails (and not waste time on email distractions dealing with the lower priority ones).

Step 3 – Reduce the number of times you deal with email

How often do you currently check for new emails?  When was the last time you received an email which would mean a catastrophe if you did not respond for about an hour?  Give yourself a break from the inbox to allow yourself to focus on the task in-hand for at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour.  Try not deal with your email too late into the night as that can seriously effect your quality of sleep and your work-life balance.

Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There are two prizes today. One for the person who has made the best progress reducing the number of times they check their email and one for the person who has reduced the volume of email they receive most substantially (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘ and ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’ written especially for PAs, EAs and VAs).

For  more resource

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

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Do you feel others colleagues would benefit from help cleaning out their inboxes?  Why not either join them up to this week’s programme or ask MesmoConsultancy to run one of our Brilliant Email Management master classes?

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International Clean Out Your Inbox Week 2019 Day 2

Monday January 21st, 2019, 10:16 pm

Day 2 – Keeping the Inbox Clean

There is a huge stress (associated) with disorganisation and there is also a cost to being disorganised. Carolee Cannata

The real work of reducing email overload starts today. Having cleared out all the old emails, the goal is keep the inbox clean.  Develop the habit of  handling each email once and only once.

Step 1 – Handle each (new) email once and do something with it

Use the Ds principle as you open each email:

Deal; Delegate; Delete or Defer.

Never, never open an email and then close it without taking action. This just wastes time as you then go back and forth re-reading emails.

Step 2 – Develop a robust strategy for deferred emails

Develop a process for you for making sure you keep tabs on those emails which still need action. For example, create a task, add a flag, move them to a ‘Pending’ folder. What ever happens don’t just leave them lying around in your inbox.

For more resource

Invest in a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or for ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’ (written especially for PAs, EAs and VAs).

 

Do you still have colleagues who need convincing about why they should invest in better email management?  Watch this video.

Tomorrow we look at how to reduce the volume of email traffic through your inbox.

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International Clean Out Your Inbox Week 2019 – Day 1

Sunday January 20th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Day 1 – Clean Out Your Inbox week: Why Bother?

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed. Peter Drucker

 

Clean Out Your Inbox Week 2019

Clean Out Your Inbox Inbox week 2019 is here. Why join in?  Business email overload is still one executive’s main concerns according to recent surveys.  They worry about cleaning out their inboxes and will stay up until 10.00pm clearing the backlog only to find their inbox full again in the morning.  All this leads to increased stress and potential mental health problems.  Sounds familiar?  Join the club.  This is why we have been running the International Clean Out Your Inbox Inbox week for over a decade to help you improve performance and creativity whilst reducing the stress and mental health issues arising from business email overload.

During Clean Out Your Inbox week we will share tips and hints on how to clean out your inbox, help other also clean out their inbox and then change people’s email behaviour to reduce business email overload long term.

It doesn’t matter what your role is in the organisation, PA, EA, CEO, Sales Director, etc., business email overload will be impacting you and your colleagues  and can mean time wasted, an important email is overlooked, an email is sent in haste and causes the next email media disaster, an email is open quickly and initiates a cyber attack.

So lets get started aiming for a clean inbox by Friday.

Step 1 – Check the Cost of Business Email Overload to yourself and your business

Calibrate how clean is your inbox.  Use our Cost of BusinessEmail Overload Calculator and dare to share the results as above.

Step 2 – Weigh in

  • Check how many emails are in your inbox.
  • What is the date of the oldest.
  • How many are unread.
  • Daring to share the results by one of the following: Email; Facebook: Twitter (using #cleaninbox)

Step 3 – Set yourself SMART goals for Clean Out Your Inbox Week and plan how to achieve them

Dare to share

Share your  Clean Out Your Inbox week SMART goals and plans (see above). There are two a prizes for the best sets (copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘ and for PAs and EAs ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox‘).

Each day we will post the Clean Inbox week action for that day.  Meanwhile ..

For more resource during Clean Out Your Inbox Week

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

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Reduce Business Email Overload in 2019 – Top ten tips

Tuesday January 8th, 2019, 10:26 pm

Here are my top 10 tips (and resolutions) to reduce business email overload in 2019.  These tips will enable you to take control of your inbox instead of allowing it to control your working day.  This will enable you to improve your performance and well-being and reduce the risks of an email borne cyber attack through stupidity.

  1. Educate colleagues (internally and externally) not to expect an instant reply.
  2. Avoid sending ‘naked’ emails (ie ones with no proper salutation and sign-off).
  3. Never send an email when under the influence of alcohol, drugs.
  4. Always attach first then write the email content.
  5. Clean out the inbox regularly and move out all emails more than one month old.
  6. When using your mobile device on the move as a diary etc, lock the screen with a photo of the day’s schedule.
  7. Use ‘Google Translate’ when sending emails to an international audience to check the content translates properly.
  8. Reduce the number of emails you send by at least 20%.
  9. Limit the number of times your inbox is checked for emails each day.
  10. Have a digital detox at least once a fortnight.

What are your New Year’s resolutions to reduce the level of business email overload in 2019?

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