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The Three Biggest Ways Email is Killing Your Productivity — And How To Solve Them
Email is ubiquitous. According to Workfront’s 2017-2018 State of Enterprise Work Report, which cites the results of a survey conducted among U.S. workers, 94% of workers rely on email to manage their work. Email consistently tops the list of tools that prevent knowledge workers from getting their work done.
Many of us fail to appreciate that email can be a productive tool. There are right and wrong ways to use email. When we use email in the right ways, we see our productivity levels soar to new heights.
Don’t use a lengthy email to relay information that can more effectively be conveyed via a face-to-face or phone call conversation
Email inbox bloat is on the rise. According to Workfront’s report, the percentage of workers blaming excessive emails rose from 43% in 2016-2017 to 53% in 2017-2018. If email sending can be avoided by leveraging more effective channels, this is a sure-fire way to reduce email bloat.
The Workfront survey found that “using a lengthy email to relay info that would be better conveyed through face-to-face or a phone call” represented one of the top three challenges associated with email. 55% of respondents said this represented a “somewhat” or a “big” problem. Before scripting an email, do a 5-10 second gut check. Will it take longer to scribe an email than to communicate the message face-to-face or over the phone? If so, reconsider your modus operandi.
Avoid getting lost in a maze of lengthy email threads
According to Workfront, another of the top three challenges associated with email is “following conversations through lengthy email threads”. 55% of respondents said this represented a “somewhat” or a “big” problem. We often find ourselves lost in a labyrinth of email threads when attempting to locate contact details, search for key files or documents, and understand the context of a relationship, for example. Searching for information can result in countless hours lose each week.
Imagine if you could make painful searching unnecessary. It’s a pain to search through past email threads to piece together relationship context. Fortunately, Affinity automatically captures every interaction you or your team has ever had with a contact. It also autocompletes key relationship details, including phone numbers from email signatures, job titles, and other company information.
Don’t copy people on emails that are not relevant to them
The final top email challenge that Workfront revealed results from “getting copied on emails that are not relevant to your job”. 5% of respondents considered this presented a “somewhat” or a “big” problem. The average knowledge worker receives 68 emails, only about 40% of which (27) demand some kind of answer or action. Most of our emails are irrelevant to us. Using Affinity, you can ensure that the most important emails are surfaced to the top of your inbox. Affinity will also remind you when it’s time to follow up with key relationships, ensuring you never miss a beat.
We tend to blame email for many of our productivity woes. Email isn’t the problem. It’s our use of it. Simply tweaking a few of our email tactics can go along way in ensuring that our email inbox is a productivity fueler, not an inhibitor.
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