Batching implies accumulating many email ideas in one sitting to make email writing faster and easier. Batching operates in various ways. One of these methods allows you to complete your email marketing when inspired to do so.
You’re probably used to meeting with somebody and having ideas flying all over the place—you’re efficient and productive. A similar thing happens with email marketing when you start batching email ideas. You feel compelled to write more.
Why is Email Batching Important?
At work, dealing with a constant stream of emails is like playing whack-a-mole. Something new appears every five minutes, and you never know what it will be. Instead of making a strategy for the day, you may immediately address whatever comes through the front door. For many people, this avoids the problem of knowing what their true priorities ought to be.
Productive people require a different strategy since they already know how to spend their time. They must eliminate any distractions that pull them away from their primary objectives.
Email batching is the best strategy since it reduces your exposure to the infinite distractions hiding in your inbox.
Email batching provides several key benefits:
- Fewer context transitions.
When you transition between tasks, your brain requires some time to adjust. This affects your productivity since you spend less time functioning at total capacity. You will never be able to focus on your assignments if you check your email every twenty minutes.
- Enhanced efficiency.
Repetitive operations, such as email, are best handled in batches. You will save time if you process email twice a day rather than fifty times daily.
- Reduce your tension.
It is stressful to check emails. Email batching allows you to shut off for extended periods and focus on your crucial work in a flow state. This is a lot more enjoyable than whacking moles in your email.
Relax—nobody will notice
Some people resist email batching because they do not want to look unresponsive. This is incorrect on several levels.
Nobody will notice if you just read emails once or twice a day. I’ve been doing this for a year across four organizations and have never received any feedback. People do not expect emails to be answered immediately. They will call you if they require an immediate answer.
Perhaps you’ve educated your boss to anticipate rapid email answers. This is not a permanent issue; there are two options for resolving it. The best solution is to discuss your aim to be more productive. Inform your boss that you will be testing a new email strategy for the next two weeks, which will cause you to take longer to respond. Explain how you can be reached immediately (by phone, for example) and begin your trial.
The second strategy is to wean them off the expectation of immediate reactions. Over several weeks, it takes longer to respond to their emails. Eventually, you will be able to group emails three times each day. Continue until it’s reduced to twice a day.
How to Batch Email
Now that we’ve demonstrated why email batching is essential (and why no one will notice) let’s go into the specifics. Email batching consists of the following tasks:
- Setting aside time twice a day to check your emails.
- Getting rid of old emails so you may start fresh each day.
- Using the Five D’s procedure, process each batch of emails.
Let’s cover those in more detail.
Make Time for Email Processing
Setting aside time for email may seem weird, but it is necessary. If you don’t plan when you’ll process your emails, you’ll end up checking them all day.
I propose blocking out two 30-minute periods on your calendar, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Ensure your morning slot is at least two hours after you begin working. You are only permitted to read messages during these time slots.
You may only read messages during these time slots. Treat them as any other meeting and move them if a clash occurs.
Don’t be scared to have them plan appointments around your email time. It is important.
Begin with an Empty Inbox
Every email in your inbox will be reviewed each time you handle a batch of emails. If your inbox includes hundreds of old emails, this will not work. We need to clear the decks so you can begin batching successfully.
The essential thing is to make this as quick and painless as possible. Nobody has time to go through and file hundreds of emails. Select all of them and transfer them out of your inbox, either to a “Misc” folder (if you use Outlook) or archive it (if you use Gmail).
From now on, you will handle all emails received daily, so your inbox will never overflow.
Process the Batch (the Five D’s)
When your calendar indicates that it is email time, open your inbox. Working from oldest to newest, read each email conversation and execute one of the five steps listed below:
This should be the default choice. Most emails are useless, and retaining them “just in case” wastes time and space.
If the email includes valuable information but you do not need to respond, file it. Make folders (or name them) for essential tasks and subjects. Put anything else in the Misc folder we created previously (or archive it in Gmail).
If you are not the best person to handle this email, forward it to someone who is. Managers are not the only ones who delegate. For example, reply, “No need to CC me going forward,” which can help limit the amount of traffic in your inbox.
If an email requires a response and you can compose it in two minutes or less, do it. Because two minutes isn’t enough to create a comprehensive answer, use this method solely for brief responses.
Create a TO DO list item if you need to do some thinking (or actual work) before responding. Save the email somewhere. You can find it later.
The final step, “Defer,” makes email batching so effective. We can get through hundreds of emails in half an hour without getting mired in actual work. This also keeps your email from taking over your job priorities. Adding email-related chores to your primary TO DO list helps you to prioritize them alongside strategic tasks.
Start today and don’t look back
Email batching has been the most crucial factor in my productivity journey. It’s impossible to get meaningful work done unless you control a significant chunk of your time in the office daily. To do that, you must live outside your inbox and make deliberate decisions with your time.
Stoute Web Solutions has grown into a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in organic growth, keeping your customers engaged, and growing your business with email.
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