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FreePint BlogSeeking a cure for email overload

Friday, 13th January 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Sarah Dillingham


Abstract:

"The biggest disease in our company is the cc! Why do we cc the world?!". This comment was overheard on the tube into Canary Wharf. It typifies the frustration of returning from a relaxing holiday break to an inevitable email avalanche. With a range of social media at our fingertips, it is easy to forget that email is most people’s primary business tool for information management and collaboration.


Item:

"The biggest disease in our company is the cc! Why do we cc the world?!". This comment was overheard on the tube into Canary Wharf. It typifies the frustration of returning from a relaxing holiday break to an inevitable email avalanche.

With a range of social media at our fingertips, it is easy to forget that email is most people’s primary business tool for information management and collaboration.

Managing email effectively is critical to achieving the all elusive work life balance. The average business user spends over an hour each day dealing with 100+ emails and checks the inbox 20-30 times a day.

Some companies are taking a radical approach to handling this content management problem. Volkswagen switches off BlackBerry email servers after 18.15 and Atos is planning to ban internal email after 2014.

The email management situation is certainly one to watch and the jury is out on whether a mix of internal social media, instant messaging and Cloud can deliver the hoped-for time savings while retaining business effectiveness.

For everybody else, the internet is awash with tips on reducing the email avalanche. Here are three tried and tested favourites:

  • Check your email three times a day only and switch off notifications. Scary at first, but focused time without distraction is golden.

  • Stop keeping a cluttered inbox. Stay responsive by using a reply or action folder and cut down on scrolling up and down rereading the same mail. Focus on the reply folder once a day and crank through them.

  • Do as you would be done by. Keep email succinct, don’t cc/reply all unless necessary, and pick up the phone.

As we wait for a much-longed-for comprehensive cure to email overload, here are a few more tips to help you manage it in the meantime:


 

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Sarah Dillingham has a long track record of success in delivering local and global KM programmes. She is fascinated with the way that people interact with technology and the behaviours that surround this.

More articles by Sarah Dillingham »


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