Showing items tagged with "email overload" - 122 found.
Posted Monday November 5th, 2018, 9:58 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
After writing about business email overload for the past decade, it still amazes me to hear executives complain about receiving over 70 emails a day but still having done nothing to identify why and what can be done to reduce email overload. This includes the whole spectrum of employees from CEOs to PAs.
Should I be surprised? After all many have suggested that email is nearing the end of its life and will be overtaken by collaborative tools and social media. Yet the data from Radicati suggests otherwise with email volumes set to rise by 4% in 2019.
Business email overload is generally a symptom of a wider personal, team or organisational failing. For example, lack of ability to focus on the task in hand, prioritise, insufficient opportunities to talk to one’s boss so instead we email, a need to cover one’s backside, no clear e-communications guidelines as to what to use when and so it goes on.
These are some of the more common underlying causes of business email overload which I have observed over the last decade. There are several easy ways to reduce the time spent dealing with unnecessary emails and these include:
- Identify who are the key culprits filling your inbox and why they are doing so.
- Prioritise which emails your really need to see and when.
- Learn to use the email software to help not hinder you.
- Recognise what is the organisational culture and it’s effect on email traffic.
- Think outside the inbox.
Posted Tuesday September 25th, 2018, 8:57 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
Google Smart Reply – can it save time?
Will Google Smart Reply function help us save time or waste time as it drives up email overload? Anything which can help us save time dealing with email surely has to be welcome. The idea of being presented with three possible templates of text to use to reply to an email is very appealing. It is useful when replying from a mobile device as it avoids typing mistakes and saves you time crafting your own reply.
However, either hit the wrong one and an email might ping back at you as the recipient does not understand what you mean. Or they might misinterpret your response. After all ‘Thanks’ can have many meanings from genuine gratitude to ‘so you just dumped me in it’. Result, increased email overload as we play endless rounds on unnecessary email ping-pong.
Google Smart Reply – the impact of email etiquette
When we run Smart Email Management workshops one constant request is to educate participants to write short simple emails (responses) which portray a professional image of themselves and their organisation and communicate unambiguously what they are saying.
Why does this need exist for good email etiquette? After all most employees have had a good education and should have a basic command of the English language. Perhaps because the majority of today’s younger generation are so grounded in text speak that they quickly forget the basics of good grammar and spelling. Therefore will Smart Reply help? Or will it just exacerbate the situation?
Google Smart Reply – the implications for GDPR
Then there is GDPR. Forget email overload. An email is forever despite the fact you deleted the reply you sent in haste and now regret. Smart Reply might just offer lawyers a field day.
A better way to create templates of text for email replies
Templates of text are a great way to save time and especially when you need to reply to a stack of emails with the same response for example acknowledge an invite, receipt of a CV, invoice, revise project plan etc. And maybe, just maybe the old fashioned way of either cutting and pasting from a pre-prepared template of text is still the best option (in Word, Google Docs etc). For Outlook users you can use Quick Parts to create such templates.
This is the best way to reduce email overload and improve business email etiquette and hence performance.
Posted Wednesday August 30th, 2017, 11:36 am by Dr Monica Seeley
How do you de-stress whilst reducing business email overload? After all it is easy to get sucked into the inbox and look up three hours later feeling stressed. What have you achieved? Maybe a clean inbox but was the time productive?
In this guest blog from Lucy Miller she provides five top ways to de-stress to improve performance whilst at the same time reducing the email overload factor.
With so many tips out there about healthy living habits, it can be tough to determine what advice is actually worth following. One key aspect of wellness that many people overlook is that it’s not enough to just be in good physical shape; you need to keep track of your mental and emotional health as well. Here are five steps you can take to make you healthier, both physically and mentally and especially whilst you deal with your email.
1: Keep a Food Diary
The problem with diets is not only that most people have difficulty following them, but many diets, even if followed strictly, won’t necessarily help you get into better shape.
A better tactic is to keep a food diary where your record everything you eat, including and especially snacks or desserts that you’re embarrassed about and want to cut out. The reason a food diary is so helpful is that it makes you acknowledge what your diet is like and identify foods that you need to eat less of, as well as nutrients you may be lacking in your diet.
Dealing with business email overload – don’t snack mindlessly when checking emails, make sure you eat what is good for you.
2: Get Sufficient and Regular Sleep
Nutritionists and health gurus are always reiterating the importance of sleep, but many people don’t realize all the aspects of your health that sleep impacts. Not only can regular sleep reduce stress, improve your immune system, and bolster your mood, but it also keeps you functioning at optimal physical and mental levels.
The key is to not only get enough sleep — at least eight hours a night for most adults — but also to keep a regular sleep schedule. Inconsistent sleep can have a negative impact on various aspects on both your physical and mental health, and will also make it more difficult to get as much sleep as you need every night.
Dealing with business email overload – set boundaries outside which you disconnect and do not look at the inbox (and social media).
3: Monitor Your Stress Levels
Stress is another factor that can have a huge impact on multiple levels of wellness. People with high levels of stress are not only more likely to gain weight and have difficulty sleeping, but are also more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional conditions.
A good way to avoid over-stressing yourself is to regularly check your emotional and mental health, which can be done many ways, including taking online mental health assessments. People with high levels of stress will almost always experience problems with their mental and emotional health, so keeping tabs on your mood, energy levels, focus and concentration, and other other factors can help you determine when you’re becoming too stressed, and what your biggest stressors might be.
Dealing with business email overload – as you feel your muscles tighten stop, take a break and exercise even if only for a few minutes.
4: Cultivate Your Intellect
Regularly challenge yourself intellectually and keep your mental skills sharp. There are many ways to accomplish this. Reading regularly is a great way to keep your mind sharp, or you can work on mentally simulating activities like puzzles or crosswords.
Another easy option is to get into discussions or debates with friends about topics that interest you both, as this will help hone your critical thinking skills. Anything that challenges you mentally will fit the bill, so find intellectual activities that you enjoy, whatever form they take.
Dealing with business email overload – set aside some me time when you do something to challenge you mentally.
5: Drink More Water
Most people aren’t getting enough water on a daily basis. Sixty percent of our bodies are made up of water. Water is essential to most bodily functions, from waste removal to carrying nutrients and oxygen through the bloodstream. We are constantly losing water throughout the day, so it’s important to replenish your water levels regularly. Experts recommend drinking at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day, although the exact requirements for your body can vary based on individual differences.
Dealing with business email overload – sip a drink after dealing with every 20 emails.
By following these simple steps, you can make healthy lifestyle changes starting today. So many people make the resolution to get healthier, but forget to focus on all aspects of health, not just the physical. By keeping tabs on your physical, mental and emotional health and making healthy choices, you can maximize your all-around wellness and performance.
Lucy Miller is a nutrition student, marathon runner, and a passionate writer for Mind Your Zen, a brain nutrition supplement brand. She contributes on a number of blog sharing useful health tips from her research as a nutrition student. She can be reached at email@example.com
Posted Friday July 21st, 2017, 11:39 am by Dr Monica Seeley
It’s that time of year, many of us are either on or planning a vacation. The perpetual question is whether or not to have an email free vacation.
We found that 80% said that dealing with the holiday email overload is one of the most stressful aspects of having a vacation. More stressful even than loosing your passport. Hence why they did not dare have an email detox. As stress and mental health rises up the corporate agenda, the reasons for disconnecting are ever more pressing to preserve our well-being.
Organisations have adopted many ways to lessen the holiday email overload effect from an ‘Out of Office’ messages asking you to re-send the email when the other person is back to adopting an email free vacation charter. But what if your company has no such policy? Here are the top ten actions you can take by yourself to have an email free vacation and reduce the holiday email overload mountain.
Pack the inbox properly
- De-clutter your inbox before going on leave. Clear out all the old emails and flag those needing your attention on return. Be ruthless, delete the low priority ones.
- Use rules to divert all new low priority emails eg newsletters and in reverse highlight potentially important ones.
- Set a safe and simple Out of Office message. Run it for a day before and after your vacation to allow time to chill out and then gear up smoothly.
- Switch off work email feed on your mobile device if you use only one mobile device. Otherwise leave the work one at home.
The email free vacation
- Establish a disaster recovery plan. In case of a real emergency leave a contact point.
- If you feel you must check your emails, allocate specific times eg end/beginning of the day.
Unpack the inbox on your return
- Spend the first half hour talking to colleagues to see what has been happened and hence which emails need you immediate attention.
- Attack the inbox. Block out one/two hours for the first few days to clear the important emails. Use time management techniques like Pomodoro or apps like Saent to stay focused.
- Utilise the email software functions to help save time, for instance creating templates of text for responding (Quick Parts in Outlook) and Quick Steps to move and flag emails for action later (remembering managing the sender’s expectation).
- Stop after three/four days. Move the rest out to a folder and leave them. By then if you still have not cleared all the really important emails it’s time to reflect on what are your real priorities. This is akin to declaring email bankruptcy which is used very successfully by many (to defuse the holiday email backlog) on the basis that if it is that important someone will soon re-email you.
Do you have any tips to share about dealing with the email free vacation challenge? There is a free copy of either Brilliant Email or Taking Control of Your Inbox for the best response. Email us your suggestions by 10 August.
Posted Sunday June 25th, 2017, 3:44 pm by Dr Monica Seeley
A mixed bag this month, including email etiquette to improve sustainability and why reaching inbox zero might not be the right goal.
1 Business email etiquette for sustainability – top tips on how to reduce the energy and resources needed to manage your inbox.
The problem with email overload – the author suggests that reaching inbox zero is not sustainable. Unlike climbing Everest, once there you have achieved something. No sooner have you reached inbox zero, the inbox rapidly fills up again and you are in effect back to ground zero. And especially for those who receive in excess of 100 emails a day. We would argue it is about reducing the number your receive, changing your email behaviour and using the software etc to help you manage the inbox.
2. Think about saying no more often as advocated by Lucy Kellaway. Although more in relation to time management it also applies to helping reduce email overload.
3. MPs email accounts hacked – perhaps with all the chaos surrounding the recent election it was not surprising that hackers took advantage of it and hacked several MPs accounts! Interestingly those most vulnerable were those with weak passwords. Click here for how to create strong passwords.
4. We now spend 13 hours a week on email. Yes, its true according to a recent survey from McKinsey. Is this realistic and the best use of our time? The article suggests not surprisingly ridding yourself of all unwanted emails and learning to use the technology better.
How good are you with Outlook? Benchmark yourself now with our on-line tool.
5. All is revealed by Johnny Depp’s business manager. In the midst of an acrimonious lawsuit Johnny Depp’s business manager has revealed very personal emails to show that Depp did indeed know about his dire financial situation. Again this like Beckham email faux pass which demonstrates that you only have control over one aspect of email – choosing to hit Send. After that you have no control over where the email goes.