Getting Your (Real) Job Done Means Outsmarting Your Email

By

If there’s a topic that comes up in nearly every discussion about business technology, it’s efficiency.  Every company is looking for opportunities to become more efficient and productive – to do more with, at the very least, existing resources.  The fact is, there are so many areas of inefficiency for most workers – business decelerators.  They are elements of work days that pull us away from productivity... the things that detract from our ability to actually do our jobs. 

They are things like looking for contact information, locating documents (including the correct versions of revised documents), scheduling meetings, figuring out the best way to reach people when you need them and based on their availability, and more.  Unified Communications and features like mobility, presence, screen share, and more have helped reduce some of the efficiency in real-time communications.

For many of us, though, email is the biggest decelerator of all.  It’s not that email isn’t useful – of course it is.  But, it’s become overly burdensome thanks not only to spam, but also colleagues and customers overcompensating by sending an egregious amount of redundant or unnecessary emails. 

Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey wrote about email:  “Email is like the dirty laundry of the Internet.  I do not mean that metaphorically.  It’s the burdensome time-suck that everyone hates but that remains essential to functioning.”

She is spot on with her assessment.  We need email, but we all hate it (though I, for one, prefer it over most of the team collaboration tools out there – maybe because everyone seems to use a different one, making email the one common thread between them) and it takes up far too much of our time.

Studies suggest that 25-50% of our time at work is spent checking, reading, responding to, and deleting email.  Unless your job function is predominantly email-based, that’s spending an awful lot of time doing something other than what’s in your job description.  On the high end, it amounts to:

  • 4 hours a day
  • 20 hours a week
  • 1,000 hours a year
  • Almost 42 days a year
  • 1,792 days over your working lifetime
  • Almost FIVE YEARS of your life!

But, what can you do about it? 

Well, there are things you can do to help.  For instance, you can make your outbound emails more effective and clear, so you help their recipients act on them efficiently. 

Dmitri Leonov, SaneBox co-founder, says one of the best things senders can do is to use subject lines better.  The subject line is an opportunity to let others know exactly what your emails contain and how important they are – including whether they can be left for later.  If people know which emails are lower priority, they can act on other more efficiently. 

Calls to action are also important.  By letting recipient know what your expectations are for response or other actions, you help reduce confusion and increase chances of faster and appropriate responses.

There are other send-side tips Leonov has, as well as some software-based strategies that SaneBox has developed that help its users keep their inboxes less cluttered.  It’s something we could all use some help with.  Leonov shared his tips during a Webinar I moderated recently.  I encourage you to take some time to check out what he has to say.  He has some valuable advice for a problem we all face.




Edited by Erik Linask

Group Editorial Director

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Nvidia to Acquire Arm and Create AI Supercomputer in $40 Billion Deal

By: Laura Stotler    9/16/2020

Graphics and AI chip manufacturer Nvidia confirmed this week it will acquire processing architecture company Arm in a $40 billion deal. The company pl…

Read More

At the Intersection of Mainframe and Open Source, Linux Foundation's Open Mainframe Project Reports Record Growth

By: Arti Loftus    9/16/2020

Open-source software has rejuvenated the mainframe as "a viable consolidation platform that both saves on licensing costs and enables technologies suc…

Read More

How to Install and Configure a Virtual Private Network Server

By: Special Guest    9/16/2020

In the internet age we live in now, we face challenges in internet security and privacy. There are hackers and other malicious elements everywhere we …

Read More

Basics Of Technical Analysis

By: Special Guest    9/10/2020

Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and other self-made billionaires did not just make money upon success. They made smart investment decisions along the way. T…

Read More

Three tips to make your 3D prints cheaper

By: Special Guest    9/10/2020

No one wants to pay too much for something, which is completely understandable. Paying too much is in essence a waste of money. Obviously this also co…

Read More