Time Management Articles (click here for more)
Copyright 1999 Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
|Dr. Donald E. Wetmore is a full-time Professional Speaker having made over 2,000 presentations during the last twenty years to audiences from around the world. He is the author of "Beat the Clock" and dozens of published articles. Learn more at: www.balancetime.com
It's interesting. Technology is often heralded as a servant for us yet
frequently we become a servant to it. E-mail was trumpeted as the new communications
tool that would surely put first class "snail mail" out of business.
Last year, the U. S. Post Office delivered more pieces of first class mail
than ever and e-mails exceeded the volume of first class mailings. We have
created another layer of communicating with one another and an additional
responsibility to monitor and manage.
E-mail is a useful tool but many feel controlled by this new vehicle. The
average businessperson is getting around 80 e-mails per day and many feel
that about 80% of the messages in their "In Box" are of little
or no value.
So, as always, rising to the occasion, I have four suggestions to help
you to become better at "Easing E-mail".
I personally receive approximately 250 e-mails per day and by practicing
the suggestions above, I can handle that volume in about an hour, taking
advantage of this fantastic tool but not being controlled by it to the
distraction of more important tasks in my day.
- Get off the lists. The best way to deal with a problem is to never have it. If you are receiving
a lot of unwanted e-mails, ask to be removed from the various lists. This
would include your inclusion in unwanted "cc" lists or unappreciated
solicitations from those promising "unlimited wealth without risk
- "Unlisted address". Just like getting an "unlisted" telephone number that you share
only with those whom you want to give direct access, you might want to
get a separate e-mail address that you use only for the important communications
you wish to receive.
- Check it once or twice per day. Many I speak with are become chained to their email server, monitoring
incoming email on a continuous basis. Maybe this is because e-mail creates
its own sense of urgency, but most of the communications are not all that
urgent. I let my "incoming" batch up and I respond to them a
couple of times per day.
- Deal with it. Like handling paper, you don't want to get into the "shuffling blues"
where you read e-mail, postpone action, save it, re-read it later, and
allow things to slip through the cracks. As you open each e-mail do one
of the following:
- If it requires a quick response, (it will only take a minute or two), respond
to it and delete it.
- If it requires a response but is not the best use of your time, try to
think of a way of delegating it. There's a lot of difference between "I
do it" and "It gets done".
- If it is going to take any serious amount of time to respond ( beyond a
minute or two), schedule it for action in your Day Planner and then download
the message, save it, or print it out for future action.
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