4 steps to easing email addiction

If writing and reading emails is taking up time you should be using for other work, it might be time to modify how you approach your inbox and the ‘send’ key.

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I’ve seen many articles lately about email management at work and, while they’re all good, none was quite right for the PR field. They recommend using apps to blindly eliminate junk email—but often our essential industry newsletters and emails might be flagged as junk. They tout the virtues of personal restraint and checking email only a few times per day, which in our media-saturated jobs is not a viable option.

I decided it was time to come up with a plan that works in PR—at any level. I started with a painful reality check. For a week, I kept track of the number of emails that arrived in my inbox and their sources. I also estimated, at the end of each day, how much of my day was spent writing, reading, re-reading, or filtering emails. The results were pretty eye-opening. In a nutshell:

What’s coming in:

350: average number of daily incoming emails
200: internal emails (from co-workers)
100: junk email
50: client emails*

(*As director of marketing and development for J Public Relations, I am involved on a limited number of accounts, so my number of client-related emails is lower than that of an average PR professional, but these rules work no matter what your mix of email sources is.)

What’s going out:

125: number of emails I send per day

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