One of the worst habits to have as a solopreneur is letting your inbox take control. As solopreneurs, it’s very easy to become a work-a-holic, not feeling your work is ever done and giving a great deal of time to your email can only add to your stress level without even realizing it.

Improving your email habits can drastically increase your productivity, allowing more time and energy to focus your efforts on projects that support your clients and strategies that build your business.

Like any new approach, you’ll need to focus on what you’re doing and practice. After a short while, what you focused and practiced on will become habits that support you.

Effective Ways to Break Bad Email Habits

* Schedule specific times to check your emails and resist the temptation to check it more than your scheduled times! It’s a simple step but has a profound effect on productivity.

* Specify the amount of time you’ll spend in your inbox. Checking two or three times a day for 30-60 minutes works well for many. TIP: Other than the times specified, unplug or turn off your email until the next scheduled time – this was a BIG help for me!

* Relentlessly unsubscribe from mailing lists. Make sure that you’re only receiving things you really want to read and DO take the time to read.

* Use your first pass through your inbox to delete emails of no interest at all, use the second pass to send straightforward or simple replies, and the third pass to reply to emails requiring follow-up actions.

* Empty your inbox every day and keep it that way. Delete most and file the rest. Set up and use the folders feature in your email client (i.e. Gmail, Thunderbird, Outlook).

* Include all of your contact info in your signature line so people you’re exchanging emails with don’t have to hunt for this info or email you back asking how they can get in touch with you outside of email.

* When sending emails, use one topic, one subject. Change the subject line when the conversation turns to another topic, and break up multiple topics into separate emails for easy detection and filing.

* Count to five before clicking “Send.” Make sure your email is clear and represents what you really want to say to avoid a lot of back-and-forth emails later.

* Include in your replies the original context of the email so you (and others) don’t have to hunt for it later.

Author's Bio: 

Maria Hebda, CCMC, CPRW... Connect, attract, and nurture … the cornerstone for creating a thriving business of ideal clients!

The Career Experts is a resource-driven career network, bringing together dedicated job seekers with a select group of certified career coaches and certified resume writers. We're the only career network that guarantees its member coaches and writers are verified and approved certified, helping job seekers connect with top-notch career service professionals.

To learn more about how we can support you as a credentialed career professional, visit us at