Take Control Of Your Email

Effective and Efficient Work Practices: Take control of your email!


Research indicates that despite finding email essential, problems such as ambiguous messages, email overload, security and privacy issues, and email interruptions confound effective and efficient work practices for many working people.

The results of one study, (Int. J. of Internet and Enterprise Management, 2011 Vol.7, No.2, pp.197 – 216) reports that almost one in five emails was cc’ed unnecessarily to staff members other than the main recipient. 13% of received emails were irrelevant or untargeted and a mere 41%, of received emails were for information purposes. Less than half of emails (46%) that required an action on the part of the recipient actually stated what the expected action was. 56% of employees remarked that email is used too often instead of telephone or face-to-face. Ironically, almost half of employees (45%) felt that their own emails were easy to read.

Start by taking an Audit of Incoming and Outgoing Messages

Volume and Quality Controls

1.    Unsubscribe from list serves that you no longer want or do not have time to read
2.    If you are receiving non-work related messages to your company email account, ask family and friends to write you at personal account.
3.    Identify the person who sends you the most emails and determine if they are all essential. If you conclude that some seem unnecessary, make a request of that person to be more selective in sending you messages.
4.    Before sending an email message determine if it is necessary and consider whether this is the most effective means to communicate this information. Recognize that your colleagues are likely also receiving numerous messages and may appreciate one less.
5.    Before hitting the send button re-read your message for clarity and completeness
6.    Use the reply all feature sparingly and ask colleagues to do the same.
7.    Get up from your seat and initiate a conversation with your colleague. Doing this may actually save you time!
8.    Instead of sending an email after each communication thanking your colleague, consider instead, acknowledging him or her offline.