Ten Ways to Send 10 Fewer Email Messages
The international Clean Out Your Inbox Week is fast approaching. Yes. We all struggle with the barrage of information that we receive and is available to us daily. And one of the ever growing sources of that information is e-mail.
Consider the world productivity impact if everyone sent 10% fewer e-mails than their average -- every day from this day forward. Not sure what that number is? Simple. Just go into your Sent Mail over the last few days and check how many messages you sent. Take 10%. That's your goal.
Here are 10 ways for you to send 10% fewer e-mail messages:
- Avoid using Reply All. You can just about guarantee that when using Reply All, someone receiving the message didn't need to see it. Go the extra mile and select recipients.
- Copy fewer people. Resist the temptation to add Suzie or Sam just because they "might" need to see the information. Copy only the people who are in critical need of the information.
- Stop using BCC. Blind copies are secretive. They are often used to "rat out" others. They create clutter and emotion, and usually generate more e-mail traffic.
- Call a meeting. When the subject needs true dialogue and brainstorming, call a teleconference or a meeting. Don't try to resolve a complicated issue with the group via multiple e-mail messages.
- Use the electronic calendar. Large numbers of e-mail messages are wasted with people trying to find a time to meet. Use the electronic calendar feature to seek free times, and to schedule meetings.
- Avoid one-word responses. No, we don't need to see "Thank you." Or "Great." Or "Okay." Please add no value while adding clutter.
- Honor the two round rule. Once e-mail messages go back and forth two or more times, pick up the telephone or call a meeting. The issue most likely won't get resolved with another e-mail message.
- Resist forwarding. Someone sends you a link, a joke, or other interesting information? You don't need to send it on to someone else to substantiate its value. Enjoying and deleting is okay.
- Angry or emotional? Don't even think of sending that e-mail message -- it will generate exponential and unhealthy return messages.
- Pick up the phone. There are some messages that can be returned and finalized with a quick phone call. Consider the overall time of the issue or transaction, and decide which means is the most effective -- e-mail, phone, visit, ignore.