What else you need to know
In previous post, we talked about using folder structure and how to prioritize your actions on emails, here we will have to revisit this briefly and explain what other things you need to do regarding emails.
Managing emails between meetings and tasks
We discussed that you need to book sometime on your start of day and/or end of day to manage your emails. Usually this time won’t be enough to read all emails and do all tasks. So the other thing you need to do is to find any time you have between meetings and/or other activities and start working on your emails again, continue the same steps, read and react to very important emails and categorize others. As you receive emails all over the day, this is a continuing tasks, but don’t let this hold you from doing your regular scheduled activities as it may becomes endless and hold you for long time. Try to jump quickly between tasks and emails and manage the balance between very important emails, regular/action emails and FYI emails.
Manage Regular/action emails
One activity you should do once you reached certain amount of emails in your action/regular email folder. The amount depends on each email and how you think it will take from you to do. Go on those actions one by one, and schedule them on your day or days depending on the due date for them.
For example, you can have an email asking to update the scope of work document for example, and the due date is in 3 days. You quickly estimate this to take 2 hours, schedule 1 hr tomorrow and book on your calendar so others see you as busy, and schedule another hr after tomorrow.
This is just an example, emails like those varies, may be it is a 10 min update, an email reply, or a call etc. so do whatever needed and make sure to schedule it correctly. Once you do the actual task move the related email from regular action email folder to the proper folder in your folder structure.
Last words about emails
Emails go hand in hands with meeting scheduling management and time/task management, so make sure you work them all together, keep your calendar updated with your meetings, tasks and availability, use email subject to make it easier for you to search later or to do a quick move to proper folder. Use emails to properly record your meetings minutes and find them easily. We will have future posts about meetings management and time management, however I wanted to make sure that it is clear that there is a tight relationship between those activities.
Please find below a sample daily schedule for a PM that has different activities/meetings and email management to give you the feel of what we were discussing.