Now guys, let’s face it, nobody really is an inbox fan, are they – I’ve worked with multiple ones for clients over the years and one thing that so many people want support with is the old inbox management and boundaries around the inbox.
That can be such a massive headache for business owners, for anybody to be honest and one thing that I always advise my clients, whether they are VA mentee’s or my one to one business clients, is to use the functionality that your inbox has to create boundaries for you, to put stuff in place that means you don’t get to that point of overwhelm.
So my tip today is to use your email auto-responder, so if you are a Gmail user or an Outlook user, whatever it is you use, if you click through the settings there will be an auto-response option and all you need to do in there is enter a couple of sentences that will be automatically responding to any new email that lands in your inbox.
Now I know that a lot of people will call this the out of office and I guess traditionally, especially in the corporate world, it would be chucked on, on that final afternoon when you are about to head out the door on your holidays – we’ve all done it. But as a business owner you’re not always at your desk, you might not always be available and let’s face it it’s probably the reason that you started your business was to get a bit more flexibility and you don’t want that kind of niggle in the back of your mind that says “oh god I haven’t replied to their email!” and you also want to make sure that clients are really clear on when you can get back to them, so using your auto-responder is a brilliant way to do that.
It only needs to be something really simple such as “I’m not at my desk currently, I will be back at my desk from Monday at 9am and if you are a current client, you will be my first priority” I have that on every weekend, I have that every time I leave my desk, because it makes me feel like I’m giving a professional presentation of my work boundaries to my clients and when you are in the VA and OBM world, it’s so easy for those boundaries to break down and always be on, you know always be switched on and if you allow your clients to expect that instant response, that is not a healthy road to be on my friend, so if you are in this world, or if you’re in a different world, whatever world you are in, use your email auto-responder as a way to set your boundaries.