Are You Letting Your Inbox Run Your Day?
14 March 2011
I have previously blogged about the importance of communication; and how it is not good business practice to substitute face to face or verbal communication with e-mail: Are you hiding behind your PC?
This week I have read an interesting blog post by Ian Broadbent; who is the current chairman of the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management) he discusses “E-mail madness” and how e-mail as a communication method can create more work than it resolves:
“I often see people furiously tapping away on their PC for an afternoon but working on nothing other than e-mail…I suppose it may feel or indeed look to some people that they are working hard but in reality how effective is this in moving on their team or organisations objectives”.
I am in complete agreement with Ian; and actively promote that my team here avoid e-mail communication with each other at all costs. I do not want them to add to the never ending influx of information. Ian’s full article can be read here: E-mail madness
His suggestions for reducing the hold that e-mail communication has over you are well worth a read; and are summarised briefly below:
- Set up a temporary e-mail file: use this to store any non urgent mails that can be dealt with as and when you get around to it.
- Only answer one question via e-mail: if the responses requires any more then pick up the phone; a 5 minute conversation beats a 3-4 e-mail conversation.
- Close e-mails when working on other documents: the pop ups will only provide distraction from your current task.
- Get team guidelines/etiquette in place: set rules regarding what is acceptable; maybe even consider a no e-mail day.