Stop The E-Mails!

 mailBy: Eric Nazarian
Director of Client Technology Solutions

Most professionals will acknowledge that efficient use of time is a constant challenge in today’s corporate environment.  I recently identified my greatest opportunity for improvement in this area: Email Replies.  As a starting point, I spent several weeks logging the quantity of email responses and their corresponding time commitment (Note: Incoming emails were excluded as I can only control what I send).  It was, at times, a tedious process but I felt strongly that any and all short-term pain would yield long-term gain.

 The results were astounding… I was spending, on average, two hours per day replying to emails!  Worse yet, I deemed 80% of such replies were ineffective for a variety of reasons, the most common being the infamous re-reply which typically added another layer of complexity not identified in the original message (we technology folks commonly refer to this as “scope creep”).  Furthermore, when replying to a distribution group, the outcome can feel like getting singled out during a game of paint ball.

 I arrived at a simple yet effective methodology for governing my email responses: “Only reply when my expertise is absolutely required and my emotions are entirely under control”.  After two weeks, I had reduced my email responses by 75%.  That translated to nearly one full day per week (and one full week per month) of time to redeploy in a more productive manner!  The most immediate results I experienced were an overall reduction in stress and a greater desire to interact with my co-workers.

 It’s worth mentioning that reducing the number of email replies is not a “magic bullet” to increased time savings nor may it be an area you need or wish to address however I challenge you to personalize the concept: Find the area in which you spend the most unproductive time and address it immediately.  You might just unlock a wealth of time you never realized was available.

 Finally, the next time you go to reply to an email, pause and ask yourself, “Is my response necessary and are my intentions honorable?”

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Posted April 8, 2013 by scicompanies in Employment Law

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