The relentless growth of in-box overload is being driven by a surprising fact:
The average time taken to respond to an Email is greater, in aggregate, than the time it took to create.
“…Email overload is something we are inadvertently doing to each other. You can’t solve this problem acting alone. You will end up simply ignoring, delaying, or rushing responses to many incoming messages, and risk annoying people or missing something great. That prospect is stressful…But if we can mutually change the ground rules, maybe we can make that stress go away.”
Deliver your message verbally whenever possible – If you are in a small school or district deliver individual messages in person instead of adding another e-mail to someone’s inbox. This also gets you out of the office and allows you to be more visible and potentially interact with even more colleagues. In addition, if the message is something that deals with an emotional or hot-button topic then it is better to have a conversation and not leave open the possibility that the tone of an e-mail will be misread.
Open-ended emails should be retired – If you are looking for group input on a decision, an agenda, or a document then put out a collaborative document for people to work on together (i.e. a Google doc). It will save everyone time and show more transparency in the process.
Take the angry e-mail out of your repertoire – What is gained by a scathing e-mail? Do you really feel better after ? How long until you start thinking that you should find a way to unsend that nastygram? Remember, you don’t have to unsend 100-percent of the angry Emails that you never send.