Ever since we became swept up in the smartphone revolution, it’s been hard to pry ourselves away from the internet. Having around-the-clock access to information in the form of a handheld device is, without a doubt, transformative, but it can also be a massive time drain and waste, if not used with discipline.

Take emails for example. Anyone working in real estate knows that in order to be successful and good at what you do, you need to be to maintain an open channel of communication with your clients and prospective clients. Smartphones have been great at keeping that channel open – after all, emails are just one swipe away. But have you ever caught yourself spending too much time sending and replying to emails that your productivity takes a hit? Obviously, responding to those business emails is important, but you’ve got other things to do as well!

Here are 3 ways you can stay in touch with clients without staying glued to your inbox.

1. Set a specific time to check your emails

Responding to emails as soon as you get them isn’t only tedious, it’s also exhausting. The last thing you want to do is allow yourself to feel overwhelmed because you feel the need to reply to an email every ten or so minutes, but you also want to make sure that you stay connected to clients emailing you. If you find your productivity lagging behind because of emails, try setting aside a specific time of the day to respond to messages. Depending on how busy you are and how important it is to respond to email, this could mean you checking as frequently as every two hours or as far apart as twice in a single working day.

2. Install a management app

Sometimes we need a little extra kick in the right direction for those times when our discipline levels aren’t doing so great. The good news is that apps like Inbox Pause by Boomerang can help reduce stress and overwhelm by blocking email notifications during specific times of the day, so that you only have to worry about messages when you're ready. Additionally, you also might want to look at apps like Airmail and Postbox which make it easier to keep track of messages in your inbox.  

3. Get a customer relationship management system

If you’re looking to maximize your productivity and shift your organizational skills into top gear, a CRM system might be just what you need. Platforms like Salesforce inbox help you to manage your emails, contacts, and relevant information so that you’re always on top of your correspondences. Most CRM platforms also offer email tracking which gives you a notification as soon as your message has been opened, so no more sitting around refreshing and waiting for a reply. With connectivity now being a 24/7 gig in the workplace, it is critical to automate yourself for success. Without it, you will always feel like a fish swimming upstream.

Also, the more we organize ourselves for success, the more we can actually spend time being more creative in our jobs.