In the interests of being efficient, courteous and responsive, I have always answered email immediately. That strategy isn’t working anymore.
Between work and volunteer activities, I have found the faster I responded to email, the more emails I had to respond to daily. Instead of quickly resolving a problem or issue, emails bred more emails going beyond the original subject.
My new strategy is to answer work emails within the day, and answer personal or volunteer emails within 2-3 days. By that point, the issue may have resolved itself without my involvement, but at least it limits responses to once vs. 3, 4, 10 times. That should cut back on the number of emails daily, which was beginning to drive me nuts.
It also occurred to me – that if there was really a problem or red-hot emergency someone will call.
Do you have some effective email strategies you can share?