The Pitch Episode 149: Triage Your Email
Don’t let your inbox stress you out. Learn to prioritize email responses to sidestep getting sucked into time-consuming, non-urgent requests.
Triage Your Email
I’m finally back in New York after traveling for a week and instead of having the luxury of catching up on work in the privacy of my own office I’m thrown right into another whirlwind of client media tours, conferences and events. Today, I’m doing the media rounds with an influential functional medicine doctor who is talking to the media about stress reduction, while I’m secretly stressing out about the unread emails that are mounting in my inbox. Before you stress about your inbox emergency, set up an email triage. In the same way a hospital uses a triage to prioritize patients who need urgent care, you can also triage your email. “The Pitch Challenge” today: Make a mental note of the priority people you must respond to within 24 hours. This might be your boss, manager, clients or perhaps there are specific people you are waiting on to respond to an email you’ve sent. For these known people, either flag them as a priority so your email sorts them into a specific folder or simply search that person’s name in your email search box to quickly pull up any new emails from that particular person. I find having an email triage system is helpful on days when you’re out of the office and your schedule is filled with meetings and travel, or when you are on deadline with a specific assignment and can’t afford to be consumed by email all day, and need to stay focused. When you triage your email you also sidestep getting sucked into responding to other time-consuming, non-urgent emails that you can go back and address all at once at the either the start or end of your day. Most importantly, don’t stress too much over unanswered emails, if a matter is truly urgent, the person trying to reach you can always escalate the communication to a phone call or text.
Who from or what subject matter do you consider an urgent email and a non-urgent email?
How can you better manage your email so it doesn’t run you?