How many emails do you get a day?
I get a ton of emails everyday. I used to leave my email program open all day and deal with them as they came up. I always felt that this was a huge waste of time, and I could be doing other productive things. I know a lot of youth pastor friends who are bombarded by emails. If you don’t have a plan on how to deal effectively with emails, you can easily become controlled by them.
Here are a few simple tips that we have developed for dealing with email.
Use a program to organized your email. We like to use mailbox app. Before I ever answer an email, I organize it. Mailbox is a great app that at the swipe of your finger you can delete it, archive it, put the email into a list, or make a reminder to answer it later. I love this program, and it has truly become a time saver if used in the right way. One of my friends already has ditched the app because the novelty has worn off. Mailbox is my personal email assistant.
We have set up lists for the email to go. Every morning when I check my email, the email needs to go somewhere. I have multiple lists, and a few of them are, urgent, personal, youth ministry, church, youth ministry media. Making lists of my email makes it easier to quickly deal with the most important emails.
Schedule when you are going to answer emails. A few summers ago I was reading the The 4-Hour Workweek, and Tim Ferris suggested to only answer emails twice a day. He suggested 11am and 4pm. I tried this and personally it didn’t work for me. So, here is what I do now. When I get to the office at 9am I organize my emails for 5-10 minutes. I deal with my emails from 10-11am if needed. And then at 4pm I organized again with mailbox app and check for important emails, or reschedule them for the next day. I am not a slave to my emails, and I will get to them within 2-3 hours. If people need to get ahold of me, they will text me.
How do you deal with your email? How to you make sure that you aren’t controlled by your email?