In the last 20 years most jobs have changed dramatically because of technology and its advances. An example of this can be seen in the simple form of e-mail. On an average day I receive about 50-75 e-mails and spend a significant portion of each day interacting and leading through these short little electronic messages. On average, I would say that approximately 25-30% of my day is spent reading and writing e-mails.
Considering the amount of time e-mail is a part of our lives and work, it is amazing that most of us have taken very little time to learn how to be more effective with it. We make the assumption that since email is just the writing of a short note that there is not much to it and that doing it, well, is intuitive.
- Below is a list of tips taken from an article on how to be more effective with e-mail. The tips are quite simple and yet if followed can dramatically improve your emailability (made up word but let’s see if it catches on).
- Turn off automatic notification of incoming e-mail. E-mail is not a telephone and should not be interrupting and distracting you from the work (or life) in front of you.
- Establish specific times during the day when you can focus completely on checking and taking action on messages, and use that time to deal thoroughly on what’s come in. The remainder of the day should then be focused on other tasks.
- If you know you can’t respond to a message for several days, acknowledge receipt with a quick e-mail giving a sense of when you’ll get to it.
- Make messages you send easy to digest by writing a clear subject line and starting the body of the email with the key point.
- With very short e-mails, put the message in the subject line and end it with “eom” (end of message).
- Finally, send fewer e-mails. Each e-mail message generates on average two responses – which you then have to read and deal with.