Oct. 17, 2022

The Hidden Dangers of Working Out of Your Email Inbox

You can quickly waste a lot of time (that you don’t have) and cause yourself additional stress by working out of your email inbox. If you are searching for emails from leads so you can follow up or if you are trying to find that one email for an upcoming event in a crowded inbox, you will want to tune into this episode.
"It can cause unnecessary stress in your business."
Many wedding professionals spend a lot of time in their email inbox instead of working on their business or focusing on what they love, events. There are several hidden dangers that might not be obvious when depending on your inbox for running your business including distractions that can suck time out of your day. There are tools available to help you manage your inbox and they can provide immediate relief. However, I recommend listening to this episode as I discuss the importance of having a business software to manage events, leads, communication and so much more. 

In this episode, you will learn the following:
 1. Tips on how to work out of your email inbox without getting overwhelmed
 2. A tool that can help you keep your focus on the emails that are already in your inbox
 3. How having all the information regarding an event stored in one place can save time, money and stress.


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Thank you for tuning in to WedPro Business Solutions. I'm your host, Kristina Stubblefield. I'm going to change it up a little bit today. I've really wanted to have a frank conversation about the this topic working out of your email inbox. Raise your hand if you are definitely guilty of doing this.

My hands up and I think for a lot of us out there, you know, I say this, I help people with systems and processes. But let's just cut to the chase. Sometimes day to day, you just do what you have to do to get through the work that's in front of you. Now, for event professionals that's probably working on events that are coming up that you already have booked or that could be working on nurturing leads, getting proposals out, all of that fun office stuff that every wedding professional I talk to just absolutely loves to do. Can you sense the sarcasm?

But I don't think I've really dove into this topic a lot and I am definitely guilty of it working out of my email inbox. I have tried over the years many different softwares, different plugins, different tools. Honestly, I've put my team through a lot of different things that we have tried and this is what I want to bring awareness of. More and more wedding professionals are talking to me about being able to keep up with what's going on right now in their business. I get it.

It can be very overwhelming. You're in a busy season, you have leads coming in, you want people that want proposals to get signed contracts and if you don't have a system in place to manage all of that or to help with the business operations part of it, you are probably working out of your email inbox. And this is what I mean by that. Everyday you log in and if you're like me, one of the first places I log in is to my email, which is through Google Workspace, so it has a Gmail interface. So I log in and there they are.

No matter how many emails I've gotten. My to do list that is either in front of me on the computer or in my notebook next to me. Or the notifications I'm getting from my calendar. I'm distracted and I really have to be vigilant about being focused on what I'm working on because a lot of times I am working on clients websites. Their workflows.

Implementing software for them. Which takes a lot of focus. So number one, I have my notifications turned off so I do not get pinged by my email even if it's open on my computer. I also do not have my email notifications turned on on my cell phone. That is a change that I made probably now.

It's been well over a year and it has been a game changer for me. But I am guilty of logging into my inbox and oh, there's an email that needs my attention. There's an email that needs my attention. Here's a client that needs someone, needs some help. Maybe they need someone.

And just in recent conversations I realized how many people are potentially running their business operations from an email inbox. If you're doing that, you probably want to listen very closely to this episode because you are probably, I could say with a lot of certainty there's a lot of time stuck in working out of your inbox. And I'm going to explain in more detail and a lot of it has to go with the distractions. But let me give you a scenario. You have someone that inquired a day or two ago and you need to send them a proposal.

You go into your email and up there's ten new emails. Now the next thing you're doing is you're scanning down through those emails to see what's really important and maybe you store them or you highlight them, depending on your email interface, that those need attention. Oh, here's one, this is something that needs to be taken care of. Now, how much time has went by and you still have not clicked compose new email to send that proposal? If you work out of your email inbox five minutes, ten minutes, 15 minutes, the next thing you know, 30 minutes is gone.

And if depending on how you use a CRM system, if you don't use one, you are probably searching in your email for a client's name or maybe you remember part of their email, or maybe neither. And you are really going back through hundreds of emails, however many, doesn't take long for time to slip away, to find that email to hit reply, to, potentially attach a proposal to.

Now I'm a few minutes in and I've not really got to the meats and potatoes because I'm talking about all of the distractions, the things that can happen in your email box. I'm not even talking about the new emails that are coming in during this 1015 20 minutes time frame that has went by. It is a vicious cycle. I find myself having to pay very close attention to being distracted by new emails that come in. And I'm not saying they're not important.

And I think for some people running their business, it's as if it needs an instant response, it needs something right away, like it can't wait. And a lot of times that comes into play when there's not a process in place for leads or booked events and I say or because those are really two different parts of your business already booked events and leads that are coming in. Just a lot of times people don't treat it that way. So what can you do? If you do not have a CRM system, if you do not have a business software to help you manage your processes or your operations, what can you immediately do?

First of all, a side note, I will say I think it's really important to get information about softwares that are out there to help you manage DayToday business operations. A lot of times they're more affordable than you may think. If you don't even know where to start, you can reach out and I'm happy to share the information. I know that is something that I do help people set up and customize in their business. But you need something right now to help you, effective immediately.

Because I know the time that it sucks. And if we're talking about time, time is money for every wedding, professional, event professional out there. So you could not sign into your email, that's probably not an option. So in all seriousness, there is a tool that I use that's called Boomerang. There's even a free version available.

I've used it for off and on the past couple of years, but honestly this past six or eight months I've seemed to have been better about it because I am getting more emails as far as speaking engagements and educational seminars and things like that that aren't necessarily from clients. So what is Boomerang? You can get a link in the show notes or however you're listening or watching this, there'll be a link with it. But what it does is it has some different solutions. But what I'm going to talk about is it actually pauses your inbox.

There's an addon again, I'm a Google workspace so Gmail user, so it works with Outlook Gmail, I believe there's a few others. So it's kind of like a plug in and it pauses your inbox. So what do I mean by that? Do you miss out on email? Absolutely not.

What it does is it allows you to be in your email inbox and pauses new emails from coming in. So that helps keep your focus on the emails that are already in your inbox. So that is one tool. It has some other features as well, getting reminded if you don't get a reply back, or to remind you in a day or two or in a couple of hours if you need to do something. So there's more features than pausing your inbox.

One of the nice things about it is it pauses the inbox and puts those new emails that have come in while it has been paused in a folder on their own. So you don't lose out on emails. They are just filtered instead of coming in your inbox. They are held in a separate file folder. And I'm not trying to get very technical, it just filters.

It from pushing them through to where you see them when you're in there trying to respond to emails. And there are ways that you can use this. You can set it up for certain times a day, you can turn it on and off when you want to. There's also a message you can even customize that a person gets a response that tells them, hey, I use a software to manage my time in my inbox, I will be in touch with you and it gives them the next step so you can customize that message that people get. So again, that is a tool that I actually use and have been happy with and it's played a role.

It is not the magic wand that fixes everything. But when you're in busy season and you're overwhelmed and you sit and think about the things I'm talking about and you're like, I didn't realize how much time I've got in all of this, you just don't realize how quickly it slips away. A lot of times when I'm doing research and you know, I'm digging deeper and deeper and deeper, the next thing I know an hour has gone by, not even to mention with phone calls or other things going on. So the other thing it does not have to do really with your inbox. But a side note I will share with you is I've also been putting my phone on silent when working on projects and it has noticeably made a difference in the distractions, honestly, because let's with different social media platforms and different softwares and apps and different things I use, it can constantly ping and can get annoying.

So Boomerang been a super help for me. The other thing is when you're working in an inbox, hopefully you keep all your emails and you don't delete them. But what you'll probably bring this to the surface when you have to go back and find out information about an event or what was communicated between you and the couple or you and the wedding planner, whoever you're communicating with, you're going back and digging through emails, trying to find where that is. When you use a CRM or a business software, the nice thing about it is all of the information regarding an event can be housed under that client section inside the software. Whether it be a CRM, a business software, the different tools that are out there, the different softwares.

And really what it does is it keeps everything together in one place for that particular event. So when you're talking about the grand scheme of things and if you work with people for nine to twelve months and you think about the communication that goes on by email. The information that's passed back and forth. I mean. If you're busy.

Even if you're not busy. We're human there can get things missed or I don't want to say miscommunicated. But having that information readily available when you look up something by client. Not only can it save you time and money. But it can really cut down on unnecessary stress.

And let's be honest, events carry a certain level of stress regardless of what part of the industry you're in. So as I've had these conversations with people I found that I didn't realize or maybe even had time to think about is there a software out there that I could be using? Is there something that can make my business more streamlined? Is there a way to simplify my workflow? Is there a way to actually work through an event for nine to twelve months in one software where everything is in one place?

And the answer to those is yes. Technology is a wonderful thing, but most business owners are wearing multiple hats as well as doing day to day business operations, researching, implementing any of that, a new system, or something else in their business. The mirror thought of it is like, Hell no. But when you really talk about the benefits, how much time it can save you, which means it saves you money, it can honestly make you more money. With automation and the tools that are available.

It can become like an assistant for your business.

I love helping people navigate through that. And if you're working out of your inbox, I encourage you to, number one, look into Boomerang or a tool that's similar to that.

Also, maybe be more mindful about not clicking on any other email until you get done with the task that you went in your email to do. Those are just some simple steps that you could implement immediately in your business. The second part of that is open your mind. Start to consider what is it worth to have things simplified in your business, not only for you, but also for your team, for your clients, that would allow you to focus more on the events, which in conversations I have with event professionals, that's what they absolutely love is the events, they just don't like the office or the paperwork part of it, as they say to me. So there are options out there.

If you don't know where to start, or you want someone to help you really map out how do I want things to flow in my business? What do I want those processes to look like? I can help you with that. I have a lot of experience and expertise in that, especially for wedding professionals. I hope that you found this helpful.

As much as I've heard it mentioned to me, I really felt like it was important to talk about it as quickly as possible. And you're not alone. If you're struggling with some of these things that I talk about on these episodes, know that you're not alone. One of the things you can do is join my free Facebook Group. There will be links with this episode, or if you're catching the video on YouTube or the website, you will see a link to the free Facebook group request to join.

You will find other wedding professionals there, as well as me, sharing additional tips and strategies in regards to business and marketing. Thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time. See ya.