Last month as a company we received over 9 million emails, that equates to roughly 2,000 emails per person and approximately 65 a day. What does this mean for our productivity? Is it good for our mental wellbeing and ability to get things done if we’re fighting the constant incoming tide of all these messages?
I decided that for me being tied to the demands from my inbox and battling my way through an ever-increasing flow of emails wasn’t the best use of my time and resource, so over the last couple of months I’ve successfully embarked on ‘No email Fridays’. For me this has meant going cold turkey for the whole day although for some this isn’t a realistic way to escape the clutches of the busy inbox.
For me, having a whole no-email day means:
- time to focus on and complete the tasks on my to-do list rather than getting bogged down in the sometimes trivial email questions and multiple discussion threads
- having the head space to think through and devise action plans and strategies for dealing with the bigger things
- less duplication of all the systems we have eg, email, Lync, Jive and the good old fashioned telephone
- not experiencing the compulsive need to respond to and clear out my inbox by the end of the day ready for the fresh onslaught tomorrow
- collaborating and sharing becomes easier as I rely on our internal instance of Jive to do this and not multiple cc and bcc’d emails being sent around.
So how do you manage your time spent dealing with emails? If you can’t go cold turkey for a day what other tricks could you use to stop yourself becoming a slave to your inbox? Try a couple of the following:
- Have a designated time(s) throughout the day to open email and check your inbox
- Turn off email notifications and alerts so you’re not distracted each time a new email arrives
- Only deal with an email once, use the file, action, delete process
- Review those subscription emails – do you really still need to receive them? If not, unsubscribe
What tips and tricks have you found successful?
Having decided to ‘retire’ our old static intranet in favour of an all-singing, all-dancing ESN, this needs to be communicated to our colleagues to let them know what’s happening – a vision that we’re working towards, how it will happen and when.
So how do you write a statement of intent telling people you’re taking away their most relied-upon resource for business information?
Firstly make sure the ESN you’re moving to is already established in your company. With 97% of our firm already on board our ESN this one is definitely ticked off my list. Then, tell it to ’em straight. Lay out the reasons for the retirement, whether this be unsupported technology or a wider business investment in new tools. Provide reassurance and reiterate the benefits of the ESN – it will be easier to maintain, they can find their stuff, it’s more robust and has user friendly functionality. Finally provide them with detail about what will happen at each step of the process (as best you know it at this stage) and any dates that you’re working towards. I’ve found that a pre-prepared process map that you can whip out and share works wonders here!
In the words of Harry Emerson Fosdick “don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to” and as I begin to draft out our statement of intent I hope to be creating our vision to retire to.
There’s lots of advice (some reportedly backed by extensive research) out on the web about how to get more followers for your social musings and blogs. There’s also plenty of competition (especially amongst the celeb A-listers) as to who can attract the largest following.
In comparison to these A-listers my number of followers is minimal, but should that stop me from writing? What’s the point of writing if no one sees it? Does this mean that my blog has no value? No, it doesn’t, and you wouldn’t still be reading if you thought I didn’t have something to say!
Any attention is better than no attention and some influence is better than no influence. Numbers of followers can be deceptive. In my few followers I can count some very intelligent, influential people. The amount of leverage these people have is worth considerably more than if I had 1,000 followers over who I had minimal influence and who in turn have minimal influence over others.
In the world of social media you maintain a following by being interesting and giving people something they need – you have to give your followers a reason to continue following you. You also need to treat them well. If you start producing content they don’t want then you can expect them to start leaving – this is the fickle nature of the web.
So it’s not a competition to see who can collect the most followers. Rather it’s about creating the interesting, want-able content that attracts the most influential followers. The more influential they are, the more influence you can have.