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Why Emails are killing Productivity? Find it here.

Md Mohsin Ansari

Hey, Can I have your undivided attention for a minute?

 

Thank you! There is a question I need you to answer: ‘What is the average number of emails that hit your inbox every day?’

 

Pause for a couple of minutes and see if you can estimate how noisy and crowded modern inboxes can be.

 

No idea? Let me help.

 

One Hundred and Twenty-One. That’s the number of Emails an average office worker receives per day, in 2019.

 

That’s a lot of numbers, right?

 

And these emails come in different forms - all vying for your attention. The majority of these Emails are clustered with attention-seeking subjects and catchy headlines. Each one is written with a purpose to rope you in so you click the button, read their content, and develop an interest in what they have to say.

 

For most people, the Email notifications popping up in the corner of the screen is a serious distraction. Not only does it prevent them from getting the tasks done, but it also makes it difficult to get back at work, with the same state of mind.

 

Here’s a hard-hitting fact about Emails Killing Work Productivity:

Whenever a person stops working on a project/task to check their inbox, it takes them almost 23 minutes to get back on the track. Refocusing on work after an Email Interruption is not an easy thing. If you are receiving over 100 emails, it is sure to harm your productivity.

 

It’s Established. Though intended to act as a productivity tool, in the majority of cases, emails are only killing productivity!

 

Think I am wrong? See for yourself:

 

Hyper-Responsiveness

What was the last time you checked your inbox? As for me, ten minutes ago. As reported by surveys and studies, an average office worker checks their inbox 36 times in an hour. Since Emails are Omnipresent, every office worker, whether the employee or an employer, knows that they are important.

 

And Cherry on the Cake? Promotional offers, discounts, new deals and event details from your favorite sellers. They all get in the way of work.

 

Hyper-responsiveness to mails chops your workday into a series of work slot punctuated by distractions. When these emails need you to reply, the 26-minute average can stretch to an hour, without you noticing. Because, the quicker your reply, the faster responses you’ll get. The more responses you get, the more time you’ll stay distracted. It’s a vicious circle, you see.

 

Bottom Line: You Can’t Resist the Temptation of Checking your Inbox.

 

A habit of Composing Long Emails

Another crucial reason that explains how Emails kill our productivity is the time spent on composing them. I am guilty of writing detailed emails to my clients. I am sure you are too. We all end up composing long and detailed replies when dealing with a new client or an important when the same thing could’ve communicated in half the time and half the space.

 

Bottom Line: You tend to forget that short emails are not rude and It’s always better to be concise.

 

 

 

Excessive Emails will continue distracting us from our primary duties as long as you take the following steps:

1. Create a Schedule to NOT check your Inbox:

 

Unless you love killing time while at work, this first tip will prove to be extremely helpful. By creating a schedule to not check your inbox, you can save plenty of time, and you won’t burn time sending replies throughout the day. You’ll stay focused and be far more productive.

 

Just stop checking your inbox when at work. Stop refreshing that page so darn much. And if you think this is easier said than done, let us introduce you to a few tools that can help you with the same:

 

  • Inbox Pause: With this tool, you can have complete control over when emails appear in your inbox. Thus, you get to increase productivity by eliminating interruptions and reducing stress.
  • Freedom: An app that blocks internet access to selected apps and website, allowing users to have a distraction-free workplace, and self-imposed time.
  • Cut back the Email push notifications: It’s the pop-ups that distract the most. They are literally ruining your work life. Why don’t you kill them too? Yes, really. Turn them off, for good!
  • Add Message with your Signature: Add a statement under your signature, which informs your important contacts that you may not respond unless urgent. For Example, “I only check my emails four times a day. If it’s urgent, please walk to my desk to see me or call me.”

 

2. Set-up an Email-Cleansing Routine

Your Inbox is someone else’s To-Do list, and you don’t have to keep them all stored unless they are really important and they serve a purpose. What’s the point of having so many useless emails?

 

Merlin Mann suggests the practice of clearing the email inbox of unnecessary emails. The Email-Cleansing Routine is something you need to do every single day. It can be tough but sure is very rewarding. Here’s what you need to do:

 

  • Do – Do the task right now, if it’s actionable.
  • Delegate – Forward this email to the correct person.
  • Defer – If it’s not urgent, do it later.
  • Delete – If useless, drop it to the bin.
  • File – If the message has the information you may need in the future Add it to the archives.


3. Create and Email Hierarchy

If your work demands you to go through your Inbox multiple times to access important files and information, the first tip is definitely not useful in your case.


People like me who get assignments and tasks via Emails, need to stay active and frequently refresh our inboxes because that’s our virtual workplace.

 

Hence Avoiding Emails or Inbox-checking is not possible. Here’s another solution: Use Filters.

 

Yes, with filters, you can scan your inbox for better email management. Since Gmail has advanced so much over the last few years, you can

 

definitely use it for saving time and avoiding elements of distractions. Here’s how:

  • File + Folders Filter: With this, you can organize emails containing files that need your attention
  • Filter Based on Work: Put your Work Emails under the Label ‘Work’ to read-only filtered mails
  • Filter Based on Personal Emails: Put your personal Emails under the Label ‘personal’ to read-only filtered mails
  • Filters Based on a particular Email address: ‘Put your Important contacts under the Label ‘Important’ to read-only filtered mails
  • Star Important Contacts: Start Important Contacts for quick access.

 

4. Use Canned Responses 

I told you in the previous section about the amount of time we all waste in composing emails or sending replies. It definitely kills work productivity.

 

The struggle is real. But you’ve to face it, and Canned Responses can actually be a savior as long as you know how to use them.

 

For those who don’t know, Canned Responses are a Gmail Feature that allows users to create and save a standard response that can be inserted into while composing a message or sending a reply-all at the click of a button. Here’s how you can Enable Canned Responses:

 

  • Go to Settings
  • Navigate to ‘Advanced Tab’
  • Select ‘Canned Responses’ and Enable it.

 

To use a canned response, you first need to write one, and for that:

 

  • Open a compose mail
  • Type an email that you wish to use as a canned response
  • Click on the three dots available at the bottom right corner of the window
  • Click Canned Response
  • Finally, Enter the name of this canned response
  • Click OK

 

Now, whenever you wish to reply with a response, you simply have to open the email, click the three dots, select canned responses, choose among the saved response, and Insert it before clicking the press button.

 

5. Leverage the power of Email Management Tools

Email Productivity can be made a game with Email Management tools. With an appropriate tool, you can literally solve the trouble for you and your employees and team members as well.

 

Apart from managing the high bounds of electronic emails, you can also organize important ones into a specific pipeline. Since millions of entrepreneurs are vouching for creating a distraction-free workspace, there are plenty of Email Management tools to choose from:

 

  • Constant Contact: To manage email lists and communications
  • Boomerang: To remove emails that don’t need immediate attention
  • Bananatag: For tracking the sent emails
  • Infusionsoft: For following up with prospects
  • MailChimp: For sending your subscribers the content they want.

 

6. Develop a smart email etiquette

Email-Etiquette is something most of us lack, even though it is one of the most sensible ways to get more done and also maintain a sound work-life balance. Once you follow a proper Email-etiquette, you get to expand your network and save time too.

 

Email Etiquette might not sound like a productivity tip but following these five tips save your recipient from confusion, for they receive required information at once, and

 

  • Use a meaningful subject: Messages without a subject deserve a place in the trash can. They are a way to convey messages in a short time and let your recipient know what the mail is exactly about. When you expect others to not burn your time, make sure you don’t burn them either.
  • Don't use ALL CAPS: Yes, it’s the most annoying thing, and yet people thing typing in the caps help them get the attention when in reality it only repels.
  • Be concise: Let me remind you once more - When you expect others to not burn your time, make sure you don’t burn their either. Bottom line is to make sure your message is easy-to-read and scannable. I recommend using bullets or numbering. You don’t have to write a novel there. There are plenty of authors already. Proofread your email.
  • Ensure readability: Avoid writing with overuse of exclamation marks and emoticons, unless the person on the receiving end is your ex!
  • Add a CTA: When writing a professional email, adding a call-to-action is important so that the other party knows exactly what step you want them to take. Your CTA should have a clear direction so that the recipient doesn’t have to respond with a bunch of follow-up questions. 

 

7. Leverage Office Chat Application

 

I’ve saved the best for last.

 

Using an Office Chat Application is indeed the best way to increasing workplace productivity, reducing chances of emails killing worktime, and assuring an efficient collaboration as well.

 

One of the easiest ways of protecting time is by using communication tools designed for workplace collaboration. When you use a customized app, all the notifications and messages you receive are about work only. There’s no unnecessary pop-up vying for your attention.


If you are a team leader or an employer who constantly worries about their employee's productivity, it’s high time you start leveraging the power of using an office chat application.

 

Troop Messenger, for instance, allows internal team members (employees and employers) to exchange messages, media, and files in a single, secure interface. With features like one-on-messaging, video and voice calling, you can get things done faster and manage daily project tasks in an organized manner. With Troop Messenger, you can do a lot more than message and file sharing. Here’s how:

 

  • Video and Voice Calling: Face-to-Face interaction over presentations, deadlines, and projects.
  • Audio Messaging: Crystal clear audio to know things better
  • Burnout: Private conversation window to chat confidentially with a team member. Your chats aren’t stored anywhere.
  • Live Location Tracking: Share or receive real-time location for a specific amount of time.
  • Screen-Sharing: Share real-time desktop scream for collaboration on a task
  • Advanced Search Filters: Filter your search by contacts, images, locations, and videos for easy and faster data retrieval.
  • Unlimited Groups: Make collaboration easy with unlimited Groups.

 

Key Takeaways

 

It’s Established. While intended to act as a productivity tool, in the majority of cases, emails are only killing productivity!

 

Emails are controlling your work life, believe or not, and they will continue doing so if you don’t take the charge. Hence it’s crucial to embrace better Email habits to stay on the right track, to clear away off the distractions, and to have a clear head when working.

 

Make use of the right tools, use filters, create connections, and stay in control of your time. Start using office chat apps. It’s on you to safeguard your cognitive resources. The more you avoid ‘task-switching’ distractions, the better work you’ll be able to do, and that too in a lesser amount of time.

 

And now, I’ll take your leave with a Mantra you need to remember: “Not everything is as urgent as it seems.”

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