As a student your e mail use may be limited. You may communicate with project partners, teachers, and friends. You may have signed up to get notice of deals from you favorite stores, or newsletters that keep you up to date in your interests.
One thing is certain, as your career progresses the amount of e mail will increase at a horrific rate. Just ask anyone in business today – the paperless office has just just resulted in the same volume of information but not it is done by e mail. Like it or not it is here to stay and you need to learn to manage it.
Fortunately you have a great opportunity while the volume coming through your in box is still manageable. Develop good habits now and you will never feel overwhelmed. That alone will set you apart in the business world!
Email is a powerful tool, it lets us communicate almost instantly across the world, but unless it is used carefully it can become yet another thing stopping us from being productive.
Here are some ground rules to keep it under control.
- Have a separate e mail account for friends & family to use. You can still have it coming into whatever e mail package you use but have it coming into a separate folder so it is not distracting you while you are trying to work.
- You can keep as many e mails as you want for reference (hoarders like me love this) but set up folders to keep them in so you can find them again later
- When an e mail comes in decide what needs done with it, then file it accordingly. For Action; Awaiting Reply; To Read whenever you have time; delete or file for reference
- Go into your action folder regularly and make sure you are progressing these things. Add them to your task list so everything is in the one place.
- Have certain times of the day when you process your email, turn off notifications in between times so you are not tempted to keep checking.
Get into these habits now and as the volume increases your productivity will stay high.
If you are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action.
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