Updated: Apr 13
We ran a poll on LinkedIn recently, asking people what the number one task would be if they had a VA to delegate to. Surprisingly the highest result was people wishing to outsource emails and phone calls.
Reading and responding to emails is a daily drag, and can turn into a monster task. Quite often, because opening an email is never that simple. More often than not, actions need to take place once an email is opened, and people are rarely ready to carry out such actions at the same time as opening the email. This leaves your inbox full of read and unread messages that you never get around to sorting out.
So, what if you could stop reading your emails altogether? Well, there is a way, sort of...
Sort out your inbox so you don't have to open it again
If you spend a few hours organising your inbox, you could find yourself in the delightful position of not having to open it at all. How? First of all, you need to make some organisational changes, then you need to hire someone to open your emails for you. Here's how it works:
Set aside some time (probably a few hours), to go through your emails. Create labels or folders for emails that you need to keep, and perhaps a separate one called "to action", so that you know those are the emails you have to come back to.
You will soon figure out what you need to call your labels and folders, once you see a repetitive pattern coming through. For example, if you work with clients, you could have a parent folder called Clients, and then a selection of sub-folders underneath it for each client by name.
Perhaps there are suppliers you regularly deal with, again, you could create a folder with sub-folders for each of them. With promotional emails, don't just delete them, take the time to unsubscribe from them. Alternatively, you could create a label/folder called "to delete", and start shoving in there any emails you want the person who is eventually going to take over to delete.
Once emails have been organised in this way, your inbox should be completely empty. You can then hire someone (Virtual Assistants have lots of experience doing this) to keep on top of it for you. Your VA won't just filter emails into folders or apply labels, once they get used to your business and your responses, they can also respond to emails for you too. It helps to create a bank of email templates that they can refer to in the early days.
Your VA would then only move emails that you need to respond to, into the "To Action" folder, which means when you log in, you only have to look there, nowhere else. If you have started to set yourself an hour or two aside each week to go through your to-action folder, you should be able to keep on top of it, and, there might even be jobs from that folder you could pass on to your VA to complete for you.
If it sounds too much to even begin this process, there are companies that can do it for you. We offer an Inbox Clean Up one-off purchase for £60 and will perform all the tasks we've listed above. Instead of unsubscribing, we'll give you a list of the companies you're receiving promotional emails from, and you can decide which ones you want them to unsubscribe from. As we wouldn't know what needs to be deleted, we would create a folder called "possible delete" for you to review those emails.
If you're interested in an Inbox Clean Up, hit the link below. We hope this post helped!