Does it sometimes feel like your life is being controlled by the demands of your email?
If it does (or even if you’d really just not have to deal with that never-ending inbox on a daily basis!), there’s some good news. An email management virtual assistant can make an enormous difference to your life and get you more of the one commodity you shouldn’t be trading – your time.
Email Is the Thief of Time
There’s an old proverb that says: ‘procrastination is the thief of time’.
Nowadays, email fits that description pretty well, too. The irony is that email – like most technology that enables instant access – was originally intended to reduce effort, to enable quick and easy response, eliminate commuting, and supposedly give you tons more free time.
It didn’t quite work out that way. We all know how frustrating it can be to spend a disproportionate amount of time attending to the ‘busy work’ caused by email – work that most often doesn’t translate into more money or adds value to your life in any way. Email interrupt, more than most anything else, proves yet again that multitasking is incredibly harmful to your productivity. And, at its worst, ‘email pong’ becomes compulsive: an addiction and a distraction.
Driven to Distraction
As an entrepreneur or business owner, your time is valuable. But that’s not all: your ability to focus is even more valuable. If you don’t keep your eye on the ball and make smart decisions – with good timing – the results could be disastrous for your business.
Unfortunately, unless you’re a monk living in a cave, dealing with email is unavoidable. And that’s where an email management virtual assistant could just be a game changer.
I’ll Be Back in 23
Interruptions generally don’t always seem like a big deal. They’re a part of life, after all – and you can just get back to work once that pesky email is out of your hair. Right?
Wrong. In fact, research has shown that it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after an interruption!
Think about that for a second. You might only spend five minutes on an email exchange, but the added downtime required to get back in the zone is almost half an hour.
It’s a wonder we even get any work done!
The Chemical Compulsion of Email Addiction
If you’re one of the (many) people who basically wake up, have a quick look at your social media, and then scan your emails “just to check if there’s anything urgent” – you might have a problem. And it’s not just the ‘wake and bake’ habit, either. Because email is tied to your life and your business, it assumes an exaggerated importance in your mind. Those periodic ‘check-ins’ aren’t just due diligence: they’re compulsive behavior.
And there’s a biological reason for this. When we anticipate something new, our brains secrete a hormone called Dopamine – and it’s addictive. It’s what drives us to scroll through social media endlessly, looking for something we can’t quite define (but we know it’s somewhere down the page if we just keep scrolling).
This is Dopamine addiction at work, and compulsive email checking is a symptom. And one of the best ways to break that habit is by engaging an email management virtual assistant to help you.
Try This Email Management Hack
Instead of checking in on your emails a dozen times (or more) in a day, decide on two set times for email checks. You might want to do one in the morning, first thing as you start your workday, and another mid-afternoon. Between those times, ban yourself from going near your email. You’ll find – weirdly – that you’re actually able to get more done, in less time.
Why is this? The answer: batching. Batching tasks makes you more productive and a whole lot more focused – because you don’t have to constantly shift gears mentally. You’re also creating a framework that reduces Dopamine addiction – a real win.
That said, if your business is time-sensitive, and your emails absolutely have to be monitored more frequently, then an email management virtual assistant is what you need.
Talk About Clingy
Many emails are like small, cute kids who keep asking “why?”. Except that emails are not cute, and like bad movie sequels, they just keep coming back. This might sound laughable, but email fatigue is a real thing.
We all know the frustration of dealing with people who ask questions; for example, when the answers were already in the mail you’ve just sent them. Or those who keep asking you for something that is actually the responsibility of someone else.
And, of course, those who mark everything ‘urgent’.
These are more than just minor annoyances. They’re the work of energy vampires, and apart from being bad for your mental and physical health, they rob you of creativity and optimism, too.
So, How Can an Email Management Virtual Assistant Help You?
Here are just some of the functions that an email management virtual assistant can perform for you:
- Prioritizing your emails according to your instructions and preferences, while weeding out the less important stuff.
- Distinguishing what’s genuinely important by using tools like the Eisenhower Matrix.
- Responding on your behalf where it’s appropriate to do so.
- Assigning simple categories or time frames to emails so you know which ones to address first, and if any are deadline-sensitive (without having to re-read everything yourself).
- Sending you an alert if something really is urgent and has to be addressed immediately.
- Tracking and providing you with meeting reminders.
- Set up an autoresponder to reassure senders that they’ll be attended to.
- Process or reroute bills, orders, or specific queries from clients.
- Monitor responses from email marketing campaigns (or even set them up and manage them completely).
- Manage your contact lists by keeping track of active contacts and adding new ones as they become relevant.
This is not an exhaustive list, by the way – a good email management virtual assistant will be doing far more than just these essentials.
A New Kind of Freedom
You have a choice: you can continue slaving under the tyranny of the never-ending email regime, or you can leverage your time so you can get far more done every day, without the stress that rampant email can cause.
If you’re ready to take that step, you’ll be surprised at how affordable and efficient your own virtual assistant can be.
Book a discovery call with us today and we’ll not only give you a free trial, but we’ll also match you with an email management virtual assistant that’s perfectly suited to your requirements and your business.