Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is email draining your productivity?

Mark Suster recently posted an article about "Why Email May Be Draining Your Company's Productivity."

Although I agree with some points, like batching email:
He suggest you never check first thing in the morning. He also suggests you only check periodically and leave your email off at other times so as not to be disturbed.
...I don't agree with this:
“I would far rather give out my mobile phone number than my email address.”
The good thing with email is that you can shut it off. I like to reserve my cell phone for urgent, time-sensitive communication.

Email, meanwhile, can be batched and processed when convenient.

And not all of it needs to be responded to. You don't really need to reply with "Thanks Bob" when Bob sends you the attachment you asked for.

So is email draining your productivity?

Probably, but there are some straightforward ways to be more effective. I wrote about "How to get people to respond to your email" a while back and suggested:
  • Make emails as short and concise as possible.
  • Write a concise, relevant subject line!
  • Separate your short sentences into paragraphs with a space between them.
  • If you are making multiple points, or asking multiple questions, put them in a numbered list.
  • Edit your emails multiple times, and cut out unnecessary words and sentences.
Then on the other side, batch process your emails, as Mark (and Tim Ferris) suggest.

Hopefully those tips will help you tame the lion that is email :)