As we saw in our last post, keeping up with emails can be a huge drain on anyone’s productivity. It is no different for independent insurance agents. In some ways, email is a “necessary evil.” It is the preferred mode of communication for most of your clients, partners, and colleagues. You simply cannot cut email out of your life. This leaves you with one option: use email, but use it better. Here are a few great tips to help you keep connected and allow you to stay focused and productive
1. Turn Off Notifications
Interruptions are one of the biggest productivity killers, and your email notifications are the worst kind of interruptions. Even if you don’t stop your work to answer a new email, just seeing that notification pop up can interrupt your thoughts and your workflow. Instead, check your email at set times throughout the day to help you respond to messages in a timely manner without interrupting your workflow.
2. Keep Your Things Short
Whether you’re writing a new email or responding to an incoming message, keep your messages short and to the point. By doing so, you’ll set a precedent for more concise, easy to read messages. Don’t worry about offending anyone by avoiding any pleasantries. They will ultimately appreciate your brevity, and this will help you be more professional in your correspondence. Shoot to keep emails between 3 and 7 sentences. If you feel like you have more to say, it’s likely you should make a phone call instead and avoid many back and forth messages.
3. If You Don’t Read It, Unsubscribe
This is also true for anything that doesn’t benefit your work. You may enjoy reading sports updates or the latest fashion trends, but these mailings don’t belong in your work inbox. As for professional mailing lists, think about whether or not you read the content provided, and if it has benefitted you. If not, unsubscribe! This will save you time and space in your inbox.
4. Create a Filing System
At the end of the day, you should be looking at a clean inbox. If you’re not, it’s time to implement a way to categorize your emails. If your agency uses Outlook, create folders and move read emails there rather than letting them sit on your home screen. If you have messages that need follow up, mark them as such instead of letting them sitting in a mess of other messages. Finally, don’t be afraid of the delete button. If an email contains relevant info that you can’t find anywhere else, you should keep it. If not, delete it!
5. Keep One-Subject Messages Together
Create fewer emails by responding to previous messages that are related to the same topic rather than writing a new email. This helps you keep all emails related to a certain project or issue together, so you don’t have to spend time searching for multiple messages and can easily see the progression of the correspondence.
You’ll be amazed by the time you will save, and the work you will get done, just by implementing these simple habits. You can keep the momentum you gain going throughout the day and week, growing your productivity exponentially each day!
In our next posts, we’ll take a deeper look at keeping your inbox clutter-free and explore the benefits of Outlook integration within your agency’s management system. We at SIS are always looking for new ways to improve your agency’s processes, and Partner XE is a perfect example of our commitment to helping your agency grow. To find out more about what Partner XE can do for you and your agency, contact us today!