Emails. Oh the emails.

67-too_many_emailsGreat article today in the Globe and Mail by Ivor Tossell – Why email is broken. It goes further than talking about one of the programs created to solve the issue, and deeper into the problem.

I was just talking about this on Facebook with someone the other day – it’s too easy. It’s too much. Underlines mine.

“The average worker spends 28% of their workweek—about 13 hours, based on a 46-hour week—dealing with e-mail, according to McKinsey Global. That’s 70-odd workdays a year. And that doesn’t even count all the times we check e-mail off the clock or, for that matter, the volume of messages that reach us through “social” services like Facebook and Twitter.
Stats like these would bug me less if I felt that this time was spent actually communicating. Rather, as Gentry Underwood, the man behind Mailbox, is fond of saying, e-mail is really a kind of grim to-do list. The sound of an e-mail ping is the sound of somebody wanting you to do something, even if it’s just to slog through the salutations, pleasantries and compulsive best wishes to simply acknowledge that you got the note in the first place.”

Some days I have a Sorcerer’s Apprentice feeling about email. Different things I’ve tried?

– trying to remember than because it sends instantaneously, doesn’t mean it needs an instantaneous response;

– turning off the ping;

– multiple single item emails from one person or company get stacked into a single response;

– trying not to send out more than I want to deal with in return (see above);

What are you doing to hold back the tide?



2 Comments to “Emails. Oh the emails.”

  1. So here I am reading this post on November 5, 11 days after it was published. An overwhelming post-vacation tide of email stuck it in a queue.

    But I got to it eventually. Why:
    1) Because I’ve learned to trust the Sue Edworthy Arts Planning brand and know that her headlines are always worth reading
    2) Because this particular article had a good headline that was resonant with me at the particular moment when I was skimming through them

    That last item on your list: trying to be the person you want to deal with in return is my mantra. It’s hard to do, but well worth the effort.

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