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Showing items tagged with "Business email overload" - 14 found.

Blue Monday – time to review how to reduce business email overload

Posted Saturday January 13th, 2018, 10:12 pm by

Resolutions or goals?

Blue Monday and you business email overload is still rampant. Fifteen days into the new year how well are you keeping to your new year’s resolutions? Maybe like me you did not even set any because it’s about goals rather than resolutions. A resolution is permanent, it’s immediate with effect from now for example, you will not answer emails after 9.30 pm. It’s a way of life. It can be hard.

Resolutions are good but sometimes things happen which make it hard to keep them. For example you are in the middle of major global business deal and need to check your emails late at night. With resolutions there is a feeling that you have now let yourself down. Indeed in a study psychologist Richard Wiseman found that 88% of people failed to achieve their resolutions. Whereas with goals they are more objective, specific, and long term provided they are smart.

The arguments for reducing business email overload have been well rehearsed here before and should be part of your business values. Then you can establish some smaller measurable steps to achieve it.

Smart goals for reducing email overload in 2018

Your goal might be to reduce the number of days you check email outside normal working hours to one (boundaries being before 8.30 am and after 9.30 pm)

Over time you can review and measure how often you achieve your goals and take small steps to either adjust the goal to a more realistic one or achieve it. In this case it might be to re-set either the time scales for checking emails or the number of times per week to make it more realistic for your work-life pattern.

You can reward yourself periodically as you achieve your goals – celebrate with a good bottle of wine. Conversely fine yourself for lack of achievement – none of your favourite coffee for a week.

This does not mean you cannot have a resolution and goals. A resolution might be to re-balance my work-life balance to spend more time with the family. Within that you need a set of smart goals to help you achieve this new equilibrium. Wiseman suggest that one of the keys to keeping resolutions is to make them public and have a graphic posted in a prominent place to remind yourself and others of your aim. Social media makes it easy to spread the word.

Identify what you need to achieve the goals. To restrict the times during which you check emails it might be using your email software better.  For instance, a rule to notify you about emails from very high priority contacts whilst ignoring the rest and setting two types of Out of Office Message (one for internal and one for external emails).

Based on the many workshops and webinars run over the last year here are seven goals for helping you and your business reduce email overload in 2018.

  1. Step away from email for at least one hour a day: use that hour to walk and talk to the senders.
  2. Stay focused on the task in hand and do not allow new emails to distract.
  3. Apply the 80:20 rule to help prioritise what emails are really necessary (ie 20% of the emails received will provide 80% of the information need).
  4. Reduce the number of people to whom each email is sent.
  5. Take action immediately after reading an email instead of glancing at it and leaving it lying fallow in the inbox. Use the 4Ds principle.
  6. Keep emails short which will help save everyone time (you the writer and the recipient when reading it).
  7. Only deal with emails between 8.30 am and 9.30 pm.

This way you can allow yourself an occasional day’s relapse, yet still feel you have made progress.

What are your goals for reducing email overload in 2018?

 

 

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Business Email Overload & Etiquette Articles of Note January 2018

Posted Friday January 12th, 2018, 10:06 pm by

To quote Louis Renault in Casablanca, ‘round up the usual suspect’.  This applies to the recent business email overload and etiquette articles. Leaving aside all the technology predictions, here are five articles which caught our attention and are worthy of your too. Press room

1. Curb digital addiction with these resolutions. We wish we had written this ourselves. Although the slant is on men’s addiction the article really applies to us all. It contains some very practical and easy steps to wean yourself of those smart phones and tablets. For example write something in a book and share it for others to add some comments. Phone a friend instead of texting them.

2. Porsche urged to ban emails out of hours. There is a certain irony and black humour about the Porsche trying to reform their own workforce. After all, are these not one of the most prized status symbols of those who are often the worst offenders for sending late night out of office hours emails? However, other companies are continuing to adopting similar policies to reduce email overload and help people re-build their work-life balance.

3.‘Starwars’ ‘whatever’ other terrible passwords. Starwars and Whatever are among eleven new entries into the list of the worst passwords. Poor password management is worrying in a time when each day new cyber attacks are revealed. Click here to learn how to create a really strong password.

4. How I love thee, email? Let me count the ways I hate its alternativesWhy do many of the time saving alternatives to email not realise their full potential? We are talking about applications like Slack, Facebook for Business, Google Drive etc. The author Rhymer Rigby likens it to communism ‘communism would be great if only it was done properly’. It is all too easy to blame the real-user, when these new tools fail become embedded in our every day working practices (ie you and I). Is this true or is there something else missing, such as adequate training and leadership from the top? These are all great ways to reduce email overload too, so it not time to make them work?

5. iPhone users: upgrade to iOS 11.2.2 Both the new Spectre and Meltdown security flaws can effect iOS devices and users are being urged to update as soon as possible. It’s not often that Apple admits it devices might be susceptible to such flaws so when they do it’s worth listening.

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At the mercy of your inbox? How to cope with email overload

Posted Friday November 17th, 2017, 10:04 pm by

Email is over 30 years old and hasn’t changed that much since its inception. But over the years we have been letting it take over our lives. It started out as a basic electronic messaging system, and we now use it to communicate everything – from the simplest to the most complex messages.  This blog reviews some of different approaches to managing email overload and their pros and cons, including inbox zero and the goldfish techniques.

Published in The Guardian November 2017

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Managing email attachments to save time

Posted Friday November 17th, 2017, 9:37 pm by

Attachment overload

Email attachments can be the bain of people’s lives. Have you ever sent an email only to receive the response ‘where is the attachment?’ It’s so frustrating – especially when the email goes to ten or more people and they all respond this way! Yet more time wasted.

Many organisations still work with mailbox limits, which can give rise to the stressful situation when your mailbox is full, and you can neither send nor receive emails until you downsize it.

This article provides top tips for managing email attachments in order to save time and reduce business email overload.

Published in Executive Secretary Magazine September 2017

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Business Email Overload and Etiquette articles of note – November 2017

Posted Thursday November 16th, 2017, 9:51 pm by

For the last five years, Inbox Zero was the holly grail for many who wanted to save time dealing with email. But did it really help and reduce email overload?  Is your business email etiquette and social media footprint helping or hampering your chances of a new job? How quickly can you spot fake news? These are some of the topics we highlight for this month.

1. What is the best way to manage your inbox and email overload? Over the years many different approaches to email management have been touted as the salvation for everyone suffering from business email overload. These include Inbox zero which many pursued as the holy of grail of business email management. Now Merlin Mann its inventor doubts its effectiveness and suggest that it might indeed be a complete waste of time. So what are we left with, the sledge hammer or goldfish approaches? In this Guardian guest blog, Monica reviews the options.

2.Eight email (etiquette) mistakes which bug your colleagues. Adding kisses and emoticons, not including a greeting and informal content are just some of the things you might be doing with email which annoys your colleagues. This is what a recent study by CV-Library revealed. Sending emails well out-side normal office hours is also very annoying. None of this is new but these are also business email etiquette habits which might be costing you your next job (including when emailing recruitment companies).

Check your business email etiquette using the Mesmo Consultancy on-line analytical tool. It is so easy to fall into sloppy habits as we work under increasing time pressures. Make sure this is not happening to you and that your business email etiquette is not jeopardising your next job.  For more tips see the Mesmo Business Email Etiquette video the Five S Formula for Writing Effective Emails.

3. Deep clean your internet activity. Yes, the first port of call for recruiters is often the internet. What will they find out about you? Old social media posts which you forgot to remove. One of us was recruiting for a CEO. After finding information about a potential candidate they phoned a business associate who might know more. Yes, you guessed, the candidate did not make it past the first round.  You cannot remove all the content for example reputable news content. However, you can clean up your social media posts as this article explains.

4. Corporate leaders: keep your Yammering in check. It is not just the Millenials and Snowflakes that need to be mindful of what they post on the web. CEOs too can sometimes wreak havoc with their posts as Jean- Sébastien Jacques CEO of Rio Tinto found. It is easy to get carried away by the ease of posting and one’s own self-importance. In the process as Mr Jacques and others have found they can reveal too much personal information and sensitive data which causes mayhem. On the other hand there is a line of thought which says there is no such thing as bad publicity. It’s a very fine dividing line as these articles have demonstrated and which need treading with great care and attention.

5. Spotting fake news. Pre the web, we used to say there are lies and dam lies. We were taught to study the statistics used and look for inconsistencies etc. Whilst this is still a vital skill, the challenge is how to spot news on social media which is fake. Here is an excellent concise guide on how to do it.

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