Your Inbox, Your Rules

The Inbox is not your master, it is your inbox, so you make the rules. You can master the inbox, you can create your own rules.

Around the globe slavery was abolished for the most part over 100 years ago. However, for many people in their offices today, the ‘inbox’ has become a virtual slave master creating tonnes of stress and destroying productivity.

However, you can change this relationship by developing rules that mean the inbox works for you. But you have to create these rules and stick by them.

Personally, I use these three rules when dealing with my inbox.

1) Process all emails until you hit inbox zero three times a day first thing, lunchtime and before heading home.

2) Read any emails that need to be read at this minute and archive or delete straight away.

3) Work to Inbox zero then start on my to-do list.

These rules work for me. However, they may not work for you.

If you are struggling to create your own rules what we suggest is that you sit down away from your email and brainstorm what is important and what is not important with emails in regards to you key priorities.

Once you have done that. Pick the three rules that you think will improve your daily battle with the inbox and stick to them ridgedly for 28 days and see what happens.

Have a calendar item booked in for the 29th day to review how it worked and what you may need to change.

If you are looking for more recruitment hints, tips and tricks why not try our book “Recruitment Hacks” available on Amazon.



Call then Email – a secret to kill email tennis

Always call first, email second

You are a recruiter, the phone is your natural habitat. You are a lion and the phone is your African savannah. Email is the Atlantic ocean.

Do you see many Lions in the Sea? Okay, smart ass in the back, yes there are sea lions, but you do not often see them hunting and catching Zebra.

So call, call, call. Always call before emailing a candidate, client or colleague, it will speed up the processing of emails and tasks. In all likelihood get you a better result compared to sending an email.

How can you make this work on a daily basis to really hack productivity? What if you do not get through to the person or need an audit trail?

Calling instead of emailing will really boost your productivity as you will, in a 2-minute call, be able to communicate and make progress on a wide range of tasks that would have taken a long time to send, respond, negotiate and agree via emails.

When calling someone if you do not get through, leave them a voicemail and then send them a quick email saying I have left a voicemail responding to this or send the email you were going to send.

If you need an audit trail, then after a call, just send a quick summing up email that will cover (your ass) as an audit trail. Of course, if something is very important write an email, but for 95% to 99% a quick call rather than email will suffice.

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If you are looking for more recruitment hints, tips and tricks why not try our book “Recruitment Hacks” available on Amazon.



Turn those emails off – double and triple dare you!

Emails. The constant ping, ping, ping of new messages. We are as a society addicted to the things. Especially in recruitment, we do not seem to be able to switch them off.

We keep looking at them “just in case”. However, “just in case” never really happens. Emails are important but during core business development hours we really should be turning these emails off.

To many in recruitment, this will be very, very uncomfortable.

However, when you are talking to a candidate about their next career steps or a client about that important and vital hire, should you be distracted by emails? No of course not.

Having a really clear focus on one task – in this case making calls, will improve your results and give you more important things to email your boss about, like more deals.

So how can you turn your emails off and not get it in the ear from your boss or clients?

1) Close down your email and just get on with your important tasks and see if anyone notices.
2) Create a simple out of office reminder that says:

“Thank you for your email.

Between 10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 17:00 I am serving my clients and candidates and will not be on my emails. If your request is urgent please call my direct line on xxxxx”

You will be amazed at just how rarely the email is as urgent as you think they are.

Try it, go on, dare you! Triple dare you!

If you are looking for more recruitment hints, tips and tricks why not try our book “Recruitment Hacks” available on Amazon.



You should call out Sharon, Keith or Karens useless emails

Ignore or ‘call out’ useless emails

You do not need to be CC’d into the latest of 350 birthday card emails that circulate around the company at any one time. Call them out as time wasting. Or do what I did when I worked at a large company, I put emails from timewasters under a set rule which put them into a folder called timewasters.

You may occasionally miss something, but generally Stacy’s email about David’s birthday in the Colchester office will not be worth reading. Unless you are David in the Colchester office.

I may sound like an old fart, however, so much time is wasted by these emails it make my blood boil.

If you do decide to call out the time-wasting emailer do it carefully and with tact. Do not say “Sharon this is bollocks, stop sending this stuff about the ‘buy a cake from the supermarket and pretend you baked it’ day.”

Instead, say. “Thank you for keeping us all posted on the upcoming bake sale in aid of injured seagulls, however, could I be left off in future as I get a lot of emails each day and I would like to lower my email burden to ensure I am tip-top for my candidates and clients. I hope you understand.”

Remember it is your time and your inbox not sharons.

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If you are looking for more recruitment hints, tips and tricks why not try our book “Recruitment Hacks” available on Amazon.



Pro-active versus Re-Active asking in emails

Or simply do not ask for Permission in emails.

Sometimes it feels like emails can be used like instant messenger chatroom from the late 1990’s.

Ping, email.

Ping, email.

Ping, email.

If you use the correct language you can reduce and eliminate all these small time wasting emails that take up your day. You can do this by not asking for permission in emails.

So what do we mean? How can not asking for permission reduce the number of emails you receive?

Simply, asking for permission means that the other person has to both think through the decision and then communicate that decision to you normally in another email. So instead of asking for permission why not just say what you are going to do, at a specific time. We will give an examples below to demonstrate what we mean.

Asking for Permission: Hello Dave, Attached is the Press Release written about the new product launch. Can you read it for me. If it is okay, can I send the Press Release to News and Stuff? Regards, Sarah

Going Ahead without permission: Hello Dave, Attached is the Press Release for the product launch. It is ready to be sent. Please read the attachment. We are going to send it to News and Stuff at three PM if we do not hear from you about any further changes. Regards, Sarah

Do you see what we mean. By not asking for permission you are giving yourself and the other person the chance to save time, energy and space in the inbox.

If you are looking for more recruitment hints, tips and tricks why not try our book “Recruitment Hacks” available on Amazon.