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Reprinted with permission from Tyme Management (tm)

Making the Most of E-mail Time
(C) 2000, Rutherford Publishing, Inc.

When used wisely, E-mail can be a handy tool for communicating more efficiently. When used carelessly, it can become yet another gadget to drain people's time and energy. Many people, for example, have experienced the frustration of finding an inbox inundated with messages, many of which are just "junk mail."

The following are ways to manage E-mail time more effectively:

  • Use appropriately. Know how others use E-mail to decide the best way to communicate with them. Some people respond more promptly than others, so don't rely on E-mail if your recipient is an "E-mail snail."

  • Moderate your use. E-mail can convey a false sense of urgency, so don't let it devour your time by checking your inbox constantly. Instead, check and respond to it a few times a day.

  • Respond decisively. When a message calls for a response, decide what would be the best use of your time. Use two minutes to respond to it, delegate it, or make a note on your planner to handle it more thoroughly later.

  • Skim your inbox. Avoid reading every message you receive. Scan the topic lines to find the urgent or important ones, and delete or file the rest. Ask your senders to write descriptive subject headings to help you identify important messages.

  • Organize. Make folders and subfolders for each category of mail that you receive, and store your E-mail messages in them. You can even use mail filters to sort and file messages into the folders by sender name or key words in the subject line.

  • Improve office talk. To save time, ask coworkers to send a brief E-mail to update you on the status of a project. Send the agenda for a meeting beforehand by E-mail to let everyone know what to expect. Instead of using voice mail, E-mail others their telephone messages to save them the time of having to transcribe their messages onto paper.

  • Get a separate address. If your current address is barraged by bulk mail and forwarded messages, consider setting up a separate address for your important business transactions.

Rutherford Publishing, Inc. produces newsletters that help individuals and organizations discover how to take positive actions in key areas of their lives and to encourage people to use more of their potential. The newsletters include: Total Wellness(r), Tyme Management(tm), The Total Leader(tm), and The Total Person(tm). For information contact or call (800)815-2323 or visit their website at


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