We've all become obsessed with email and it's killing our productivity. Numerous articles on this subject have already been written, but I'll do my best to add to the conversation in a positive way. I still love email, so I'm part of the problem. That said, we have started a few things around here at adWhite to do our part to curb email overload.
For one, we send as few internal emails as possible. Instead, we utilize Slack (one of the greatest apps of all time) in lieu of any inter-office email. Additionally, we've set up Slack channels with key clients and partners so we can try to communicate as much as possible via instant message versus email.
Here's a great article published in Inc. recently: Everyone Agrees Email is Killing Productivity. Here's How to Solve the Problem. In this article, the author, Alison Davis, suggests that organizations agree on a new operating model for email.
Part of email's problem is that it stresses us out. Seeing a full inbox causes a special kind of anxiety! While seeing a clean, near-empty inbox is about as zen as a business professional can feel, am I right?
Of the many articles I've read on this subject, here are a few common suggestions that, if we could all implement, would help us be more productive and less stressed:
- Don't Let Email Interrupt Other Important Tasks
- Create Set Times When You Read and Reply to Emails
- Let Email Rules Filter Lower-Priority Messages
- Empty Your Inbox Daily
This last one seems almost impossible. But there's a great article from Michael Hyatt who offers some additional tactics to help achieve this. They include: Do, Delegate, Defer, Delete (my personal favorite) and File.
Read the full article here and do what you can to stop email overload and work with your team to do the same — it will benefit all: your team, your clients, your partners and your sanity! Before you send an email, think: can I wait and send this later with more information, is this information worth an email, is the timing of this email send smart/good?