Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Over-emailing

One thing that has frustrated me in the last while at work is the amount of emails that get sent every day. The amount of time it takes to go through emails is very substantial when you consider the average benefit to actually receiving an email.

On a normal busy day, I will easily receive over 100 emails. Most of which are FYI type emails that are good to have as a reference, but don't necessarily require a response from me. The amount of time it takes to go through the emails, respond to them, archive them, delete them etc. is overwhelming. When you consider an average day, I spend more time going through email than doing actual productive work.

I've accepted the fact that a big part of my job is responding to issues, and most issues are dealt with through emails. Instead of complaining about having to deal with too many emails, and asking for a job with less responsibility, I'm going to write about ways that people can deal with the issues I'm having.

I plan to write an article and submit it to some newspapers. My ideas to tackle what I call "over-emailing" involve the use of technology, business processes and practices. The vision is to present more effective ways to communicate with team members and avoid drowning people with information that isn't necessarily important to them.

Some of my solutions do require a rather revolutionary change in business practice, and cooperation between all team members is vital. Teams can be much more efficient and productive if they adopt some of my recommendations, but best practices and procedures will need to govern and enforce the process.

If the newspaper article is successful, and if my ideas work for people, then perhaps a book could follow. I'll post the article on my site once it's complete. I'd love to hear your ideas for tackling this issue.



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