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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to close your email for one hour. Email, while convenient, is also a massive time waster. Many of us spend hours in our inboxes responding to emails. As a result, our other duties are pushed off until later in the day. Worse, if you keep your email open throughout the day, chances are you get distracted every time a new message pops up. Again, this takes away from your actual work. Whether you get 300 emails a day or three, it’s important to chance your email habits so you can concentrate on your work and manage your time more effectively. Today, challenge yourself to close your email for at least one hour. Don’t leave it in an open tab, don’t check it, and disable any desktop notifications. Another trick you can do is to set designated email times during the day. So, for example, you could only allow yourself to check emails from 9-9:30am, 12:-12:30pm, and 4:30-5pm. That way, you can use the rest of your day to get other projects done. How long do you close your email for during the day? Do you have designated email times? Tell us!

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I was recently the recipient of a group email from an administrator. You know the kind I mean…an announcement of sorts intended for an entire group. The message targeted 10 to 15 people who needed information that the administrator wanted to share all at once. The message itself was generic enough. At least from my point of view, the message was informational, and that was it. RELATED: Need some career advice? Watch these tutorials! Imagine my surprise and dismay, then, when a few minutes later, a long response popped up in my inbox as a "reply to all" even though the message clearly targeted the sender of the original message. The tone of that message was angry, and the writer was clearly miffed. It was the kind of message that didn’t need to be sent to the entire group, and in fact, in my opinion it was the sort of message that should never have been put in an email at all. In this case, the response was one that warranted a phone call between those two people. That wasn’t even the worst of it, however. In addition to replying to all, and thus sharing their upset with the entire group, this individual decided to call out an individual who hadn't been included in the original message! The information shared was both personal and derogatory. It had no place in that message, and again, would have been better said in person. It reminded me that sometimes even the most professional of us can make a mistake when it comes to email protocol. I know I have committed my share of faux pas. Early in the days of email, I made the mistake of sending a similarly inappropriate message disparaging an individual in writing. The message then landed in the wrong mailbox. I received a message from someone who had the same name as the person for whom I had intended the message. The recipient was kind enough to share that he was pretty sure he wasn’t the intended recipient of my email. Lesson learned: make sure you have the right email address AND be careful what you put in writing, even if you think you know to whom you are sending the message. Here are some rudimentary rules that I think everyone should observe when it comes to email:

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Can you imagine communicating without email? It is part of our everyday life and the way many employers receive cover letters and resumes from potential candidates. So, if you don’t know email etiquette, you’re in for a rough ride. Related: Follow Up Tips: What To Do When Your E-mail Goes Unanswered Even if you think you have it down, you should take another look at the tips below.

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