Quick Tip: Save Loads of Time Answering E-mails
My inbox seems to fill up with messages I really, really want to reply to... only I don't have time to write a proper reply just at this moment, because a proper reply takes careful wording and a long time to type up.
Here's a solution: scan your "must reply to this" messages. Write down each person's name and very briefly what you want to say that would require thoughtful and careful wording. "Bernice--mysterious hair loss." "Tyler--too much makeup on last TV appearance." Then delete all the e-mails.
Don't bother emailing these replies. Instead, a 30-minute email can become a 10-minute phone call--and you won't worry about anyone misinterpreting your tone. Go down your list, think about the emotion you want to convey, then call. Or if the time isn't right, schedule a time on your calendar to call and connect. Your inbox will be empty and your people will all be attended to.