VA TIPS - Not letting your inbox be the boss of you
Posted on 15th July 2019 at 21:43
FIVE TOP TIPS FOR NOT LETTING YOUR INBOX BE THE BOSS OF YOU
Email anxiety is very real!
Whilst technology enables us to communicate fast, effectively and in real time. It also brings with it a whole heap of practical and mental strain.
We’re not ones for striving to achieve ‘inbox zero’ - yet another impossible standard!
But we do know how important it is to both your productivity and headspace to properly manage your emails.
Here’s our top five tips for handling your inbox like a boss:
1. Schedule times to check messages
Best practice at Alchemy VA is to check our emails at 10 am and 2 pm.
We work flexibility so this isn’t a rule, it’s a guideline.
Checking our emails at these times helps us be super productive and protects the integrity of our focused client and business development time.
Its all too easy to get sucked into your inbox first thing and lose a whole morning!
Email is an invaluable communication tool but if you’re not careful, it can be a huge distraction and time suck!
2. Utilise your out of office
Most days our ‘out of office’ autoresponder is on. No, sadly, we’re not on one big holiday. But we do use our out of office to tell people what we’re up to and help manage their expectations in terms of a response.
Our working days are focused on managing lots of busy clients and their workloads. We simply can’t spend all day in our emails or we’d never get anything done! We like to get creative with our messages, here are some recent examples:
"Thanks for getting in touch, I am speaking at an event today so I won’t be checking my emails as regularly.
If you need urgent assistance please call the office on 01604 312195. You can take a look at some of the photos from the event over on our Instagram Page."
"I am onsite with a client today so I won't be picking up my emails until I am back in the office tomorrow (Tuesday 16th July). If your message can't wait until then you can send a text to 07784586944 or call Alchemy Virtual Assistance HQ on 01604 312195."
" I just wanted to let you know that I've received your email. I won't have the oppourunity to read and respond as I am catching up with my clients today and I want to be sure to give them my full focus and attention. Whilst you're waiting, be sure to check out our recent blog - "How to hire the perfect Virtual Assistant!"
What ever approach you adopt for your out of office message be sure to update it often and include a point of contact for truly urgent issues. Otherwise your auto response very quickly goes from useful and informative to damn right annoying! Most people will opt to call in the event of an emergency, so be sure to leave your mobile number or, if you don’t want to be disturbed, direct them to your call handling company or Virtual Assistant.
3. Set up rules
Rules are perfect for all those messages you want to keep but don’t necessarily need to see or have clogging up your inbox.
Emails like: confirmations, newsletters, direct debit payments, etc.
Set up a folder, if you don’t already have one, and create a rule to automatically file these types of less urgent messages.
If you’d like some help or guidance with rules or folders, feel free to book in a complimentary call with an Alchemy VA.
4. Turn off your notifications
Don’t limit this just to emails.
Turning off notifications is another really simple yet powerful thing you can do to help you regain control and protect your headspace.
Check social media sites, messaging platforms, emails and texts when you’re ready. There’s nothing worse than being in a meeting (or with your family) and your phone keeps lighting up. It’s distracting, it can look really unprofessional and be super stressful.
There’s bonus points for taking this to the next level and turning off all the email notifications on all of your social media platforms.
Thank you LinkedIn but I’ll accept that connection request when I’m good and ready!
5. Hire a Virtual Assistant
I know, I know, a shameless plug...
But seriously, if you’ve found these tips useful and you can’t face doing them or they’ve not made enough difference - you may wish to consider working with a professional Virtual Assistant.
An experienced Virtual Assistant with PA or EA experience will be able to help ease email anxiety in a multitude of ways.
From sitting in your inbox responding to things on your behalf to being the first point of contact with their email address in your business name or perhaps being someone for you to forward messages into knowing they’ll be actioned or you’ll be reminded of them at the right time.
Working with a Virtual Assistant isn’t just about having more time to make money, it’s about your headspace and happiness.
You’re the most important part of your business and having the right VA on your side can make all the difference to your headspace, workflow and life balance. It can also make your solo operation appear and function like a bigger business.
“Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to think like one.”
If your curious about how an Alchemy Virtual Assistant could benefit your business, get in touch.
We’d be delighted to chat about what stresses you out and slows you down.
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