Email automation systems

The McKinsey Global InstituteMcKinsey Global Institute found that an average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email, and that amongst other activities only spends 39% of their time on actual tasks. We all know the chaos and clutter of email, but this is epidemic!

We can reduce the brain drain by implementing smart systems like Gmail, and, if you're using that already, optimise your use of it so your employees actually spend time doing work. 

Use just these three tips to save hours:

1. Check email only at specific times

Find your sweet spot where you're most alert and productive and schedule email time after that period. It really works! For example, try to only look at emails at 12 noon, and then again towards the end of the day. The feeling that you're missing something will go away when you practise this and realise that most things are not, in fact, urgent. 

2. Take tasks out of your email

Email software is not designed to be a task management tool. It's far better for your team to talk about tasks in proper task management tools that give project context, and automatically file the conversation to that specific task or project. This way you don't lose emails, you don't waste time in email, and most importantly you don't lose focus switching programs and contexts (having lost focus even for a moment, it takes up to half an hour to regain focus). 

3. Achieve focus by automatically highlighting the most important emails

Gmail automatically categorises your emails through a number of ways like analysing who the email was from, plus from your behaviour (how often do you open an email from a certain address, etc.). The ability for this to cut your email time is enormous because you can then quickly check through 5-10 emails (the important ones) rather than 50-100 (most of which are junk and can be checked later). Other programs are simply too tedious to do this, generally speaking. The specific Gmail features you should familiarise yourself with to maximise this is either Priority Inbox or "Inbox" (separate, newer interface), as well as automatic filtering and the importance marker.

These three elements alone should be able to get you to a much more healthy 1 hour per day in email (if not less!). Contact us for more comprehensive training, or moving to Gmail (under what is called "G Suite", formerly "Google Apps for Work").