In the time it took to read this sentence 20 million emails were written.
In fact more than a quarter of a typical worker’s day is spent on email – sending and receiving an average 105 emails daily.Of course email has its benefits – it‘s a quick way to send messages, links and attachments – and to track and manage conversations over time.
But few of us relish the sight of dozens of unread emails at the start of the day. What’s more, committing to less email may make us more productive by freeing time for more important priorities.
As a guide, author Carl Erickson has listed 6 road-tested tips and tricks for reducing your use of email and creating more productivity:
- Set filters for newsletters or lists you don’t actively read.
- Process email in batches – for example, before lunch and before going home.
- Avoid lengthy conversations with “reply all” chains. If something is important enough for a group discussion, schedule a group discussion.
- Don’t reply to every email. Set up an auto-responder that let’s respondents know you’re only replying to selected email, depending on your availability and priorities.
- Communicate more by phone – we can convey more information, more quickly by phone, especially through voicemail.
- Do the most important tasks of the day in the morning and don’t check email before your priorities are done. If something is really urgent, people will call you.
Finally, it’s worth noting that there are times when email is a poor option for communicating, such as when communicating bad news, conducting a negotiation or when conveying complex information.
In these circumstances we can be more personal and more effective by using the phone or simply talking face to face. Make the commitment – less email, more productivity, and more life!
Join the movement! Make your commitment to do a little less and a little more today.