Have you ever declared email bankruptcy and deleted your whole inbox to start from scratch? If you have not tried this approach you might have thought about it and at the very least you have spent hours, days, weeks being frustrated by email.
The Radicati group estimates that in 2013 over 180 billion emails were sent per day! And this is not the end of it: By 2017 this number is said to have grown to over 200bn emails/day.
Email has made work faster and more productive but more and more of us are experiencing the dark side of this communication revolution: hours spent a day to manage your inbox, deleting spam and bacn (don’t know what bacn is? see here), deciding if an email is worth reading or even replying, but most of all searching for relevant or up-to-date information in our inboxes.
And now not only companies start enacting policies to limit employees’ time in their inboxes, but in France a deal has been struck with a workers’ union to limit email outside of work hours.
From our point of view email is not all bad and we would follow Steven Sinofsky’s advise (see summary below): change how you work, add new tools to the mix that do the things email is bad at better, but do not ban email altogether.
Disruptions: Looking for Relief From a Flood of Email
by Nick Bilton
Email has brought a lot of change to our day to day work but it is starting to have the opposite effect on productivity and even increases people’s stress levels.
The article cites various studies that show how email has become an overwhelming wave of information we feel we have to defend ourselves against. Many new email clients have been developed as a result in the hopes that technology (largely) through automatic filters may help us deal with this “onslaught”
Read the article: Disruptions: Looking for Relief From a Flood of Email by Nick Bilton
Don’t ban email – change how you work
by Steven Sinofsky
In this post Steven Sinofsky makes the point that banning a tool that has become a burden cannot be the solution for inefficient work.
After a look at how newly introduced tools can become a burden once adopted by everyone around you (remember how you got only a couple of meaningful emails a day just a couple of years ago?). He then goes on to suggest that you should have a hard look at your work processes and change those instead of banning a tool like email or suggesting no meeting on a given day of the week.
The post ends with a few pointers about how to recognise when a tool may be reaching its limits and the underlying work processes have to be put into question.
Read the article: Don’t ban email – change how you work by Steven Sinofsky
How to Manage Inbox Overload and Actually Get Stuff Done
by Brett McKay
Brett McKay shares numerous tips to help you reduce incoming email. This does include things like setting up filters, unsubscribing from unread email lists, but it also includes looking at the way you communicate with others to minimize email return.
Finally, Brett goes through a series of actions that can help you become more efficient in going through your inbox and dealing with the remaining emails.
Read the article: How to Manage Inbox Overload and Actually Get Stuff Done by Brett McKay
If You Do This, Your Emails Might Be Rude
by Adam Grant
In day-to-day life we follow cultural rules and etiquette but we seem to forget how we come across when communicating via email. Like with many things it is less about what you ask someone, and much more about how you do it.
Adam Grant has put together a list with some of the common mistakes we can make. Make sure you read the post to the end for the grand and funny finale!
Read the article: If You Do This, Your Emails Might Be Rude by Adam Grant