If seeing “0 messages” when you open your inbox feels like a pipe dream, it’s time to gain control of your email. When Executives spend hours of their day buried in replies there’s barely time left to do work that actually impacts revenue. And anyone leading a company will agree that’s a problem. So, what’s the answer? Give yourself permission to delegate your email inbox to an assistant. Because of constant interruptions, sifting through messages may take you a significant amount of time (that you don’t have). But an Assistant could have it organized and sorted out in as little as one hour per week.
Here’s how to delegate your Gmail to an Assistant
Handing off your email inbox doesn’t mean you’re saying goodbye to access when you need it. And you don’t have to hand over your password with worries about what’s happening behind the scenes. Think of delegating your Gmail to an Assistant as simply sharing responsibility.
Your Assistant (or Delegate) has the ability to set up a system that automatically sorts your email using filters and marks the status (i.e. Need to Reply, Waiting for Reply) of each message via labels. And you can always see what was sent and received by checking out your email archives. Your Assistant can send on your behalf through your email address or respond using their own, taking the pressure to reply in an appropriate amount of time off of you.
Step-by-step process to delegate your Gmail inbox 1. Make sure you have Gmail open on your desktop 2. Click Settings (the gear in the upper right corner) and then See all settings 3. Click the Accounts and Import tab (you may just see Accounts) 4. Click Add another account under Grant access to your account 5. Type the email address for your Assistant (or Delegate). Make sure to disable Require user to change password at next sign-in 6. Click Next Step and then Send email to grant access 7. Your Assistant will receive an email to confirm access. Make sure they do so within one week of receiving permission.
Please note that if your email is through school or work you may need to contact your Administrator to set up email delegation for Gmail. If you don’t see the Grant access to your account section, you don’t have the ability to change your delegation settings yourself.
Here’s how to delegate your Outlook to an Assistant
If your email runs on Outlook, you also have an option to delegate your inbox to an Assistant. In Microsoft land, you can give different types of permissions based on what you want your Assistant to do. For example, if you’re just starting to delegate email, you could start by giving your Assistant “Author” access. After you feel more comfortable, the “Editor” permission could be granted, saving you even more time. Like Gmail, the person you give access to is also called a Delegate.
Step-by-step process to delegate your Outlook inbox 1. In your Outlook inbox click File 2. Click Account Settings 3. Click Delegate Access 4. Click Add 5. Type the name of your Delegate (make sure it’s someone in your organization) 6. Click Add 7. Click OK 8. Pick your permission settings in the Delegate Permissions box 9. Select Automatically send a message to delegate summarizing these permissions
You also have the ability to change permissions at any time, making it easy to start your Assistant with less access and add more accessibility in the future.
Managing your email can be overwhelming. Taking the steps to responsibly hand it over to an Assistant will save you time daily. Even if it’s just to get your inbox more organized and help you know what needs immediate attention and what can wait, bringing a Delegate into the picture is just one way to make sure you’re moving the needle in your business in the most efficient way possible.