Saturday, March 13, 2010


It used to be that we complained about drowning in a sea of paper, but these days we’re more likely to be griping about being buried in our in-box. I don’t know about you, but responding to emails takes up way too much of time, and I need to get smarter in how I handle the major influx of emails I receive every day.

So I was really interested to read the article Email is making you stupid in the latest issue of Entrepreneur in which writer Joe Robinson observed that constant email interruptions make you less productive and less creative.

Here’s some of the pointers he shared on how to tame the monster.

• Turn off all sound and visual alerts that announce new email
• Discipline yourself to check email less frequently – at minimum just once
every 45 minutes and at best, just two to four times a day
• Don’t hide behind email. There are occasions when the phone or face-to-face
meetings are more effective ways to communicate.
• Just because a message can be responded to immediately, doesn’t mean you have
to do that
• Restrict your use of the “reply all” button
• Be proactive – put no reply necessary in the subject line
• Don’t send emails just to say thanks
• Use the automatic out of office option when you are working to a deadline

As Robinson says, perhaps with these strategies we will be able to climb out of the inbox.

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