Successful contractors rarely experience a moment of peace. Managing phone calls and texts can be exhausting, but when it comes to dealing with email inboxes overstuffed with messages of varying levels of importance, contractors tend to become overwhelmed. Who doesn’t?
Sometimes, the best option seems like closing the tab and ignoring it, but running away from your emails could limit your company’s ability to grow and compromise your ability to procure lucrative contracts. Instead of worrying about the vast number of unread emails populating your inbox, focus on managing your email to ensure that important emails receive the eyes they deserve while spam emails are banished to a digital trash receptacle.
Take it from us, the Naples construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law, we’ve witnessed firsthand what can happen when an important document or piece of correspondence is delivered by email and a contractor fails to see it. Managing your emails is essential if you want to grow your business.
Coming to Grips with Unread Emails
The average worker’s email inbox contains 199 unread emails. This figure tends to compound over time because ignoring an email takes one or two fewer clicks than outright deleting it. Why is it so easy for your inbox to get out of hand? In one survey, over 50 percent of respondents reported that the most common, problematic actions that lead to an overstuffed inbox include:
- Writing a long email to convey a message that would be better served by a phone call or in-person conversation.
- Following a conversation through overly long email threads.
- Being copied on emails that are irrelevant to your position.
Since contractors act as the central connector for numerous parties including subcontractors, suppliers, and owners, the sheer volume of email correspondence taking place on a given project can be virtually impossible to deal with. Just imagine, a simple email between the contractor and the owner might require another half-dozen carbon copies and countless blind carbon copies on top of that. A deliberate, well-thought-out strategy for managing your emails is essential if you want to streamline communication and ensure that you are only receiving emails that truly matter.
Starting Over with “Inbox Zero”
The “Inbox Zero” concept was introduced by a blogger named Merlin Mann in 2007. The idea behind Inbox Zero is relatively simple, but it can have a drastic effect on your communications. To achieve Inbox Zero, one must choose a safe point to clear their email inbox. In other words, you’ll be starting from scratch with a brand new, spamless inbox. There are hundreds of articles about how to restore your email to manageable, Inbox Zero-levels of cleanliness, but the first step is the easiest: delete everything.
By starting anew, you don’t have to waste time filing through thousands of unread emails. Plus, there’s a good chance that your unread emails are no longer timely anyway. Once you have zeroed your inbox, you can integrate new email management techniques. We will discuss these techniques in depth in part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.