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9 simple steps to get your email under control

9 simple steps to get your email under control

Despite the rise in popularity of texting and social networking, email is still the preferred way for many to communicate, especially with co-workers and business associates.

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A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that the average knowledge worker spends 28 percent of the work-week either writing, reading or responding to email. You probably know some colleagues who spend more than half of each day dealing with the influx.

A high volume of email can make you feel overwhelmed and overloaded. And a cluttered inbox is a major productivity killer. Follow these 9 steps to tame the daily barrage.

Then, you can spend a few more hours a week not glued to a glowing screen - or perhaps glued to a glowing screen for a more entertaining reason.

1. Send less email
The more email you send, the more you'll get. Look for opportunities to use another form of communication that cuts down on the noise.

Could a quick IM chat, phone call or walk down the hall answer your question or resolve the issue? Face-to-face communication is better when you need to make a point or debate which direction to take. It's also the only choice when the subject is touchy. With body language, there's less chance that your tone will be misconstrued.

It's also a good idea to call an impromptu meeting if it looks like you're headed for a confusing three- or four-way email conversation. Chats, on the other hand, are good when just a few words will do.

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