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Don’t be overwhelmed with email overload

Are you overwhelmed with the volume of texts and emails you receive daily?

We live in an age of information overload and it becomes more and more difficult every day to keep up with emails received. If you send a large amount of emails you expect responses from them. Your company may make available to you tools you can utilize to better manage emails including return receipts, blocking of ability to forward to others, setting up group emails and blocking the option to print or copy.

Most companies have policies regarding the use of company computers for personal use. Whether there is a policy or not, be very careful about what you send out. There should be no expectation of privacy as emails, texts and other communication on company property is owned by your employer. 

Violations of ethics policies, sending inappropriate messages, forwarding inappropriate pictures, viewing  pornographic materials, threatening people and making sexual or racial comments will eventually be discovered. It will also most often result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination from your job over it.

Many companies offer training in writing effective letters, emails and other forms of communication. In order to improve your skills take advantage of any seminars or training classes available. 

Emails came on the scene in the early 1990s and now are one of the most used methods of communication in the world. Email is less intrusive than a phone call and is convenient and fast. It has changed the way we operate as it allows for doing business from just about anywhere.

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute more than a quarter of the average worker’s day is spent answering and reading emails. It further reports that email is the second-most time consuming activity for workers next to “role-specific tasks.”

Use continues to grow in personal and business applications. Make a conscious decision to use emails wisely and in the best possible taste.

Following are some tips to help you mange the use of emails.

Email tips

1. Set aside time to read and respond to emails.

2. Control your inbox by taking action immediately.

3. Delete all unnecessary emails.

4. Organize your inbox with labels, folders and categories.

5. Unsubscribe from sources of unwanted promotional emails.

6. Use the feature “Mark as Unread.”

7. Be precise with your words.

8. Keep messages clear, brief and to the point.

9. Ensure your subject line is accurate.

10. Avoid informal language. Be professional.

11. Keep in mind that your sent email could be forwarded to others.

12. Do not “Reply to All” when responding to sender unless instructed to do so.

13. Do not use all caps. It is like shouting and is considered rude.

14. Ensure grammatical accuracy. It is a representation of you.

15. Proof read your email before sending. Do not depend on “spell check.”

16. Use “cc” and “bcc” sparingly and only when needed.

17. Respond promptly.

18. Be polite. Choose your words wisely.

19. Re-read your email before pressing “send.”

20. Ensure that an email is the best way to communicate your message. Sometimes a phone call or “face-to-face” discussion is best.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.