CFOs are continuing to take on more responsibilities when it comes to leading their companies. And with more responsibility comes … more emails. It may seem like sifting through your inbox is taking more and more of your time, but unfortunately it’s a necessary task.
Luckily, there are some strategies you can use to help manage the amount of time you spend reading and responding to emails each day.
Here are five tips, courtesy Inc.com, that’ll help you slash your email time so you can focus on other pressing financial tasks:
- Take advantage of cloud storage. Plenty of emails are worth holding on to. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep hundreds of folders attached to your inbox. Use cloud technology to store old correspondence instead. You’ll be able to access your messages from any device, and they won’t take up room in your inbox.
- Set up auto-sorting. Most inboxes allow users to sort incoming messages into designated folders automatically. Create folders for different Finance departments to improve organization. Or set up a folder for advertising mail you’re subscribed to. This way, non-essential messages won’t distract you, and you can go through the folder when you have time to peruse the ads.
- Create and use signature responses. If you find yourself responding to emails the same way often, it’s a good idea to create a template of “canned” responses that you can insert into a reply message with just a couple clicks. It’ll save you time since you won’t have to retype text or remember what you usually say.
- Designate specific email time. Assign a specific time of day to devote your attention to your inbox. It doesn’t have to be one, large chunk either. You could instead set aside 15 minutes here and there. Stick to your schedule: Unless you receive an urgent message, your email can wait until your designated time, which will allow you to give your full attention to other tasks.
- Stick to the “three email” rule. One way to cut down on time spent emailing is to save more complex conversations for the phone. If you think a conversation will require more than three emails to conclude, call instead. If you find yourself going back and forth with someone in accounting, it’s best to just wrap things up over the phone or talk in person. You’ll be saving both of you time.