Lifehack had an interesting post the other day about taking time back in your work day, something I think most of us struggle with. Ever since I started my adventure of the empty inbox and have been books like Lifehacker’s Upgrade Your Life, I’ve realized that emails can often be my biggest time waster. Think about it…
You get one unclear email, which leads to you responding with follow up questions, which leads to another email, which leads to your actual response to the original email now that you have all the data, which leads to a reply from that person, and it keeps going and going and going. This is what I like to call of the dreaded Email Cycle of Overload. Everyone is guilty of it (admit it, you’ve sent at least one unclear email in your life), and it causes everyone’s email inbox to overflow with emails that answer no questions, make no points and serve no purpose.
How you can help:
1) Use bullet points or numbers to call out important points
This helps organize your message and allows for easy reading. If you can’t come up with a single one, rethink sending that email.
2) Practice sending emails with your voice
I know I know, I’m biased, but it really does help! When you have to construct a message in 30 seconds over the phone, it teaches you to get right to your point.
3) Reread your message
Before you send your email, ask yourself if you were the recipient if you would get the information you need to convey out of your message.
4) Thank you
This is the only exception I’ve found to the email cycle. Maybe it’s just me, but I always appreciate a thank you email.