a. Use a signature to provide your contact information on your computer, phone, and tablet. Do not leave the default, "sent from my...." If you are sending a work email from a location other than your desk, nobody needs to know.

b. If something is still unresolved after two or three emails, simply pick up the phone.

c. Keep disagreements off line. Best to keep some things unwritten and your tone is less likely to be misinterpreted in a live conversation.

d. Schedule times to review emails. Controlling the urge to constantly check email will help to reduce your stress and will save you processing time. If you check 5 times a day instead of continuously, processing email will take 20% less time.

e. Off hours emails. Does your boss send you emails at all hours of the day and night? Many will say, “don’t worry about the emails I send after hours, I’ll let you know when something is urgent.” They send the email out of work hours because it benefits them – it gets it off of their mind and puts it on yours. But diligent workers cannot help the impulse to take care of work when it arrives. The solution? Unless it is truly urgent, delay the send of emails until normal business hours. Let your boss know this can be done (many people are not aware.) This is a built-in feature in Outlook. Boomerang for Gmail and SendLater for Mac Mail are plug-ins that also allow you to schedule email delivery.

f. Keep emails short. Being brief will increase the odds that your email will be read. It also shows that you respect the reader’s time by keeping it short and to the point.

g. Use subject line abbreviations. Using these popular abbreviations in the subject line helps to expedite response times.
EOM = End of Message
NRR = No Reply Required
AR = Action Required

It is easy to spend a large portion of your day handling email. While you might feel efficient at processing, it is unlikely you will end your day feeling effective and productive if you don’t schedule time to do the important work for which you were hired.

Hopefully, these suggestions will enable you to spend less time on email and more time on doing the work that really matters.

Author's Bio: 

Sharon F. Danzger founded Control Chaos in 2006. As a productivity consultant, she provides group training and individual coaching.

Ms. Danzger’s diverse background in financial services, non-profits, and small business enables her to offer a unique perspective on finding efficiency and balance. She tailors her approach to be industry specific and culturally focused based on her actual work and client experience.

Sharon holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Real Estate from New York University. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).