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Showing items tagged with "Business email overload" - 12 found.

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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Sleep Well to Reduce Business Email Overload

Posted Friday October 20th, 2017, 9:09 am by

What would you rather have – a good night’s sleep or win the lottery? Choose the former to improve your well-being and happiness (and reduce business email overload).  Sleep is now recognised as one, if not the main, contributor to our well-being. This is according to the latest survey from National Centre for Social Research. When you are rested, your self-esteem is higher, you are more relaxed and perform more effectively. This is also what sports psychologists have found when preparing sportsmen and women for big events.

What has this to do with reducing business email overload? Ironically, the blue light from those beloved mobile devices has been found to be the most significant cause of a poor night’s sleep. The two key reasons being:

  • The blue light supresses melatonin which is the hormone key to a good night’s sleep.
  • Your brain does not have a proper rest. Answering emails and checking social media makes the brain feel its needs to keep working.

Despite the growing body of research showing how checking emails etc late at night is detrimental to our well-being, the perennial comment in workshops is: ‘my colleagues/boss work in a different time zone and I need to be available’.

Stress and mental health are key areas of concern for most organisations. Business email overload and the constant distraction from digital alerts remain amongst the top ten stressors. This is due to many factors including:

  • FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Email/digital addiction
  • Poor organisational email culture.

During the recent Overload 2017 webinar speakers such as Lawrence Ampofo and Dan Calisata highlighted ways to create a healthier digital communications culture. For example, using mindfulness and setting boundaries outside which people are not expected to be available. You cannot change culture in isolation but you can start to influence other people’s behaviour and question theirs when they expect you to violate normality. Once you start to make improvements then is the time to collect data to use to develop a business case for changing the wider email culture (perhaps just across your division).

Doing nothing to reduce business email overload is simply not an option these days. Not only will it ultimately damage your personal health it will deter others from working in the organisation and especially ‘Millenials’ and ‘Snowflakes’. Both expect more life-work balanced organisations. They do not see a job for life and if the organisational culture does not suit they will move elsewhere.

Here are seven ways to improve the quality of your sleep – yet stay on top of your inbox and reduce business email overload.

  1. Set boundaries outside which you do not deal with work emails.
  2. Use your Out of Office Message if needs be to manage sender expectations.
  3. Switch off at least one hour before going to bed.
  4. Leave all digital devices outside the bedroom.
  5. Keep pen and paper by the bed if you need to make notes (for example your mind is churning with things to do tomorrow).
  6. Use a conventional alarm clock rather than the one on your digital device.
  7. Read a conventional paper-based book rather than e-book.

It can be hard to switch off, one way is to start by creating digital-free time during the day.  For example, at meal times and whilst shopping. Then build-up so that ultimately you have a digital-free day over the weekends.

Other resources to help you include:

If you (or your team) need more help reducing business email overload whilst improving well-being and productivity, email or phone us  now.

What are your top tips for improving the quality of your sleep?

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Business Email Overload: how digital devices have hijacked our memory and sleep. Articles of Note October 2017

Posted Friday October 20th, 2017, 9:00 am by

Five articles of note exploring business email overload and how digital devices have hijacked our memory and quality of sleep.

  1. How Smart Phones Hijack Our Minds. Nicolas Carr (author of Does IT Matter) is at it again, with a very thought-provoking article. He posits that whilst smart phones have become the repository of our life data and constant companion they are weakening our intellectual ability. Even if your phone is switched off yet still in view it may decrease your performance!
  2. An Email and Popcorn and Tsunami Analogy. What is the cost of sending one email to a distribution list of 100 people when only about five need it? At least one hour wasted. Streamline your distribution list and start improving productivity.
  3. Millennials Email Habits Are At Unhealthy Levels, Resulting In Round The Clock Stress. Yes it seems like Millennials check their emails far more often than Generation X and Y. Starting when they wake and often not stopping until they fall asleep. Not good news for those concerned with the well-being and mental health of their organisation.
  4. Ease Off Those Emails And Smartphones When You’re At Work. Written by Twitter boss Bruce Daisley. Yes, it is in part a promotion for Twitter. He suggests that Twitter is less addictive than email. This is debatable. Nonetheless this article too contains a serious underlying message about performance and our digital habits. During the Overloaded 2017 webinar several speakers mentioned that information overload is making the office environment toxic. Daisley like many is on a crusade to detoxify the office and encourages more laughter and talking – surprise, surprise.
  5. Anchoring to be confident any time any place. When you face an attack of business email overload and your pulse starts racing, try the NLP technique of ‘Anchoring’. Click here for an instant guide on of how to perform this wonderful relaxing technique this from my long-standing friend and colleague David Taylor.

Headspace. Whilst thinking of de-cluttering the mind, have you tried the Mindfulness App ‘Headspace’? Yes, it means accessing your digital device, but you can do so without being disturbed, just turn off all new digital alerts! We love it as a way to clear the mind either before trying to be creative or travelling and trying to stop your mind racing with the train/plane.

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