Do you feel bogged down by emails? Never quite sure what to write? Author and Writer Alexandra Franzen joined us to help bring sanity back into our email inboxes!
1. Feel, Know, Do.
This is a quick writing technique that you can use to write better emails (and also better college application essays, better grant proposals, better blog posts, anything at all). In a nutshell, you ask yourself, What do I want my email recipient to Feel? What do I want them to Know? What do I want them to Do? ... and then you can set a clear intention before you start writing your email. This helps you get to the point and avoid rambling!
2. Make propositions rather than open-ended questions.
Instead of saying, "When would you like to meet up? I'm down for whatever!" try making a proposition like, "Let's have brunch this Sunday at 11am at the Bumblebee cafe" or "Let's get on the phone for 2 minutes to look at our calendars together and choose a date." This cuts down on a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth-ing, which can be time-wasting and tiring.
3. Remember that email isn't "your life."
A lot of people watch their inbox piling up and feel intense dread, anxiety, and overwhelm. It's important to be attentive with your email (especially if it's part of your job/livelihood). But it's also important to remember that in the grand scheme of things, email really isn't that important. Nobody's going to perish if it takes you 3 days to reply instead of 3 hours. At the end of your life, you won't say, "I really wish I had answered more emails" or "I wish I'd been more prompt with my email responses." Try to maintain a sense of perspective (and a sense of humor) about emails. When you feel less stressed/anxious, then it's easier to be productive and stay on top of things, too.