A steady barrage of emails can quickly turn a manageable to-do list into a workday nightmare. Those dozens (or hundreds) of messages disrupt your focus, intensify stress levels and generally throw a wrench in your ideal workflow. If you’re not careful—and sometimes even if you are—email can become a second full-time job.
It goes without saying that this kind of chaos isn’t sustainable. Thankfully, there are personal analytics tools available that can provide you with insights about your day-to-day schedule and email habits. You can use these insights to strategize, re-organize and set limits that will save you significant time.
Understand your inbox
The average knowledge worker spends 28 percent of their day on email—what about you? How much time is spent reading versus writing? And what about your read rates and response times? Are you communicating effectively with your peers and coworkers?
That’s a long list of questions—but email analytics can provide you with answers that help. Let’s say you to take a deeper dive into your interactions with a particular client or customer. You discover the long hours you spend thoughtfully composing regular updates are going to waste, as your contact isn’t even opening your emails. The takeaway? It’s probably better to limit yourself to vital points—and to communicate them through a different channel.
Or maybe you learn that emails sent after 3 p.m. have a high average response time. This knowledge lets you establish precise email windows to maximize effectiveness. The less time you have to spend following up on your ignored messages, the better.
Take control of your schedule
Sustained blocks of time are rare these days. Emails, meetings and phone calls, while necessary, often serve as annoying interruptions. And when you’re feeling more scatterbrained than focused, it can be very difficult to get real work done. The answer? Let time analytics help you take stock of hidden inefficiencies.
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