However, ifyou’re not careful, you can quickly find yourself spending hours a day trying to push that email boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down again.
We’ve all been there. But don’t worry, we can help.
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions…
One of thereasons we need to spend less time on email is the way it can distract us from more important tasks. One study found that the average office worker checks their email 15 times a day. And hey, this might sound pretty reasonable. After all, you're probably getting lots of emails throughout the day, and when you’re emailed about something important, you probably want to get a response out as quickly as possible.
That said, you’re probably putting a lot of undue stress on yourself by trying to immediately respond to everything as soon as it comes in. Studies show most people don't expect to get a response to their email until about an hour later. This is important to keep in mind, especially when research also shows stopping to check email can knock us off track for more than 20 minutes. Adiós, flow state.
Email also takes up a lot of our time when we have to go through stacks of messages to find important files. Frankly, the default search in Gmail and other email platforms just isn’t very good, especially when you consider the typical professional has more than 200 emails in their inbox. Using basic search terms and combing through dozens of email threads takes time that could be better spent elsewhere. Fortunately, Teamstand offers a better way forward by automatically organizing your inbox and surfacing important files when you need them where you’re already working.
We’re going to talk more about Teamstand in just a minute, but before we talk tools, we want to discuss why you should also change the way you think about using email.
Shift Your Mindset, Increase your Productivity
When you think about great business leaders, or maybe some of your colleagues that you really admire, their responsiveness to emails probably doesn't come up as a defining quality. Given most people expect a response around an hour after they hit send, mathematically you don’t need to check your email more than eight times a work day. In fact, you can probably check it far less often than that.
Productivity experts recommend setting aside a few blocks of time during the day to read and respond to emails. An easy way to do this is to use the Pomodoro technique: a few times a day, open your inbox and set a timer for 25 minutes, and close your inbox when the time runs out.
While this exercise will help you reclaim a lot of your time, you’re also going to want to make sure you’re spending that time in your inbox as efficiently as possible.
Do Search Tools and Building a Folder System Cause You to Spend Less Time on Email?
Many people keep their inbox full of emails on purpose, using it as a default filing cabinet for the tasks they’re working on. This approach is based on the idea that the search tools that Gmail and other platforms provide are good enough to find what you want when you need it. However, if you're like the average person holding on to hundreds of emails at a time, the basic search function is only so useful for quickly finding the file you need. Teamstand completely eliminates the need to search by automatically sorting and presenting your files in a collapsible side panel — everything you need right at your fingertips.
So that sounds well and good, but let’s put it into more concrete terms. Another occupational hazard of searching through a crowded inbox is rereading the same emails multiple times. If you check your inbox 15 times in the course of a day and spend only four seconds rereading 10% of 200 emails, you lose 27 minutes every day. 27 minutes every day might not sound like all that much, but over the course of a month that’s 9 hours lost. That’s basically a full day - imagine what you could accomplish if you had that day back!
Gmail and other email platforms do provide organizational tools to cut down on wasted time — in theory. However, creating and maintaining a folder system also takes a lot of time. One study showed this type of system takes up about 10 percent of the total time people spend handling emails. On top of that, the average person has 37 email folders within their inbox. Having a large folder system like this might give you organized vibes, but the numbers don’t add up:this approach has been found to be 9% slower than searching through your inbox with keywords, and 50% slower than using search operators.
If we can steal a phrase from the infomercials of yore — there has to be a better way.
Spend Less Time on Emails With Teamstand
Rather than settling for the Gmail search box andusing a folder system to get the illusion of organization, Teamstand can automate the organization of digital assets in Gmail to reduce the amount of time you spend looking for critical files.
Available as a Chrome extension, our app presents organized lists of important files in a collapsible panel within Gmail, bringing critical assets to where you’re already working. Teamstand also automatically organizes your attachments based on the data contained in your emails and files. And when you who want to organize files your way, our app’s tagging function allows you to quickly do just that by applying one or more tags to files to associate them together however you choose.
Like all the best apps, Teamstand is intuitive and simple. Want to try it out? Contact us today to get free access to our automated digital finding cabinet, and see just how much time you save.