Assistants are constantly asked to do more with less time, and email is a big part of their jobs. With emails dropping into their inbox every few minutes, it is easy for assistants to become overwhelmed.
While it is important to keep up with all these emails, several tips can help assistants answer their emails faster and more efficiently. Here are seven of them: –
- Do one task at a time
Try not to multitask while answering emails like checking your phone or trying to reply while having a conversation with a colleague. You would end up re-reading the same email several times because you are distracted. To maintain focus, assign a dedicated period for reading your emails. e.g., the first 15 minutes of every hour or whatever time slot works for you.
- Check the subject line
A particularly important factor in email correspondence is the subject line. When you open your inbox and scan through the emails, check the subject line to see If it is something that needs immediate attention. if it is not urgent, write a quick reply and set a reminder for yourself in your calendar to get back to this person later. It is that simple, focus on the important stuff.
- Set up auto-responders
Autoresponders are a simple and effective way to avoid spending hours each day answering emails. With autoresponders, you can set up your email program to automatically reply to incoming messages with a pre-written response. You can also set up an auto-response that informs the sender that you will reply to their message within 24 hours or one week, depending on the urgency of the email.
- Use text predictors
A text predictor helps you type an email response faster because as you type, it makes suggestions based on your writing style. You can enable text prediction for different email service providers such as Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Text predictors can also be enabled on your smartphone and other applications like Microsoft Word. If you do not like the suggestions of the text predictions, ignore them, and keep typing or you can disable the prediction.
- No personal emails at work
Avoid checking personal email at work, it will reduce your efficiency at work. You can set aside some time each day to check your personal email, preferably your break time.
- Use an email template
This is a brilliant strategy to save time when you receive tons of routine emails that require the same or similar response. An email template is the ‘skeleton or bones’ of any email. It is a blanket response or pre-written email that can be used for several people as long as you edit the names, email addresses and other relevant info. For example, imagine you are contacting someone about an event. You could use an email template to change the date, time, etc., and then just send it out to other relevant recipients.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail
An overlooked tip is unsubscribing from junk mail. While it might not seem like much–if you unsubscribe from the junk mail, you will be able to answer emails faster and save precious time you would have spent sifting through spam and irrelevant emails. Most marketing emails have a link at the bottom that allows you to unsubscribe from receiving future emails.
Thank you for reading! If you have any tips that work for you, please share them in the comments section. We would love to hear your ideas.