Productivity – Emails

Email is notoriously known for derailing our productivity. What if I told you that you could use your email as a tool to stay more productive, rather than letting it be a distraction?  More than likely you’ll tell me that I’m lying to you since the average worker spends 28 percent of their day reading and answering email; according to a 2012 study, by New York City-based management-consulting firm McKinsey and Company.   But if we can keep emails brief and to the point it can help you reclaim some of your time as well as your team’s time. Guy Kawasaki says, “Proper email is a balance between politeness and succinctness.”  Here are 4 ways to achieve email efficiency.

Productivity – Emails:

Cut Out Excessive Details 

Read your email over and take out any superfluous information before you hit send.  Information overload won’t get the recipient to take action. “Long emails are either unread or, if they are read, they are unanswered,” says Kawasaki.  We all have a number of unread emails in our inbox because they are just too long.  Additionally if that much is needed to be said call the person or walk down the hall to their office.

Shorter Emails will help You stay Focused

Limiting yourself forces you to think in a concise manner, helping you stay focused and save time. Shorter emails also allow the recipient to make a quick decision on what action to take, increasing the likelihood that you’ll receive a reply.

Make your Subject Line Actionable

Think about what you have to do with an email that has an actionable subject line you’ll read it, looking carefully for the opportunities or the actionable items. Write the subject lines of your emails last, starting out with a verb that describes what needs to be done and a noun encapsulating what the email message is about directly.

Limit Everything but Praise

Praising your team or co-workers is one thing you don’t want to limit, especially in our corporate culture.  Heaping praise and kindness on someone will help change the dynamic of the department.

Final Thought

Emails can be the biggest destroyer of our time in the workplace…

It behooves us to not write up a long treatise when we compose our emails, another item I have found to be very successful is to use bullet points for my main items.  As leaders we need to understand people are busy and we can’t be bogging them down with mountains of emails we could potentially send out every hour

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