How long do you spend responding to emails? A minute? An hour? A few hours or a whole day? If you run a construction business and you have a large portfolio, you understand the benefits of keeping your clients happy by responding to their requests or questions. Speedily responding to emails is ideal but not always an easy thing to do. Juggling between offsite work and trying emails is indeed a tough task.
Emails are meant to facilitate communication, which is why many rely on them. How do you understand you are struggling to respond to emails? Answer these questions
- Do you intermittently check your inbox at irregular intervals?
- Do you spend a lot of your time managing your emails daily?
- Does email management consume a high chunk of your productive time at work?
If any of the answers to these questions are yes, then you need to consider some of these tips below to better manage your emails.
Email Management Tips for construction project managers
#1. Be Disciplined: Don’t reply every mail
The first thing you need to know is that not every mail deserves your response. If you apply this golden rule, you will significantly cut down the man-hours you spend replying to emails that you shouldn’t even respond to. The wisdom here is to know which emails to reply and the ones to ignore. That is up to you.
#2 Create a Folder for emails you wish to reply
You may not have the time to reply to important emails as soon as you’ve read them, but you can respond later. Simply create a folder and save them for later. You can set aside a day of the week to respond to them. You can also differentiate them based on their order of priority so that you can respond to the more important ones first before moving on to the least important ones.
#3. Fix a time to process e-mail daily
Opening your inbox anytime it crosses your mind to do so is not a very productive way to manage emails. Organize your work hours and create a period dedicated to mail replies. No matter how many emails you get during the day, do not bother to reply to them until the time you’ve allocated to such an endeavor (that is unless the mail requires an immediate response due to its urgency).
#4. “Work Smart”
Another way to manage your emails more effectively is to be strategic about your approach. Try email management tools as they may help you with smart work flows. Fortunately, in this day and age, there are so many tools that you can use for free online or cheap tools that can help you manage your email effectively. Here are some tested and trusted options you can adopt.
- Tag emails: Develop the habit of tagging the mail you have read so that you do not make the mistake of opening them again. Perform this action regularly or tweak your email setting to tag all read messages will help you to differentiate read messages from unread ones.
- Bulk messaging: There are email management tools that allow you to send messages to correspondents at once. If you have a long list over 100 recipient, bulk mail messaging is a must-have. Just remember to BCC everyone!
- Automated messaging: You can react to messages even when you are not online by making use of automated messaging tools. These tools have a pre-set message, often one of acknowledgment. You can use automated messaging to achieve two goals. The first is to remain active online, even when you are not really active in person. Secondly, you create an unbroken chain of communication with your clients at all times. This improves your professional profile significantly.
Effective time management is crucial in the workplace. As a project manager, you want to make sure that you don’t leave any client of yours hanging in the loop because you failed to reply to his or her email on time. You also want to make sure that you don’t waste your time replying to the emails that are of little or no value to you.
What’s your strategy on managing email? Let us know in the comments section below!