No doubt you are like 99.9% of all financial advisors scrambling to find more hours in every day. Now think about how much time you spend on emails…reading them, writing them, answering them, and generally trying to keep a handle on the endless firehose of information that’s streaming into your inbox. Right now, you might have more than 500 unread emails, which is obviously not good.
Now think of a world in which you actually have more time to spend on your business than in your email. It’s possible, if you take charge of your email and adopt just a few simple practice routines. You’ll be amazed how much time you were spending on email and how much more you will have to actually talk to your clients.
Here’s the biggest catch in making this work: You have to create an organized method to deal with emails, making it part of your daily routine. You may already be in the habit of checking your email periodically or even at the same time each day when possible.
The point is, if you don’t organize this process, then you’ll have the same issue again in no time at all. Think of it as a major time investment you make today that will pay back dividends (in the form of more time) in the future.
Let’s focus on a few key practices that will have the most impact in the shortest amount of time to produce significant results.
Get to know your “Delete” button
Whether you check your email once a day or more, the first and easiest strategy is to devote part of your regular email review to scanning for emails you can easily delete that aren’t needed any more, the so-called “junk” that we all accumulate. It’s a good habit to do this step first before opening new emails you need to read. This is a great way to keep more emails from clogging your system.
Now for older emails, another quick and easy step is to try mass deletion by searching for all emails from a particular sender that you know is either spam or not wanted. Search for that sender to pull up all of their emails by sorting them, and then do a mass deletion. If you commit to doing this once a day you will be amazed at the results in no time.
Sorting your emails also allows you to find those that are unopened and over six months old. Both sets are prime candidates for deletion as well, once you are in the right mindset to realize that you have lived without them this long so how important can they be?
Unsubscribe and Block
Chances are you don’t even realize how many email subscriptions you have accumulated over time, some by accident and others on purpose, so it’s always a good idea when combing through your inbox to gauge the relative worth of every message. If you feel you can live without it, scroll down to the bottom of the message and click “Unsubscribe.” If you find yourself just automatically deleting emails from certain senders, unsubscribe. If you don’t want to unsubscribe because once in a while they send something interesting, then go to Settings and re-route all emails from this sender to a folder you can reference later (bypassing your inbox).
For other emails that make it past your spam filters, which are categorized more in the pure “junk” category and were never requested or wanted in the first place, remember that your email system has a feature that allows you to block unwanted emails and junk from even entering your inbox. Take advantage of this feature to help eliminate emails that you will just have to delete at some point anyway.
Even More To-Dos
There are other simple tactics that can help you declutter your email as well. Consider these for example:
Touch emails only once.
Snooze emails to a blocked reading time, such as early mornings away from client time.
Auto-forward emails to specific folders.
Ask members of your team to redirect frequent email senders to them where you have occasional interest in the content (your team member will send to you content they know you would be interested in rather than you culling the pile).
Make sure certain industry providers know your primary interests and, more importantly, what you are not interested in. This will stop a meaningful portion of the inflow that is of no interest to you.
Be conscious of actions you take on the internet that will result in you ending up on lists that lead to email flow. Use a tool like DuckDuckGo to protect your privacy.
Now Get Started!
The most important message here is a simple one: Get Started! Try a few of these proven techniques that can help you eliminate emails that are cluttering your inbox and you will be glad you did. And so will your clients.
Contact a Freedom Advisors professional to learn about more proven time-management strategies.
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