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With the internet, digital television, push email services, online search, and advertizing it is very clear that we have a lot of information overload. Information overload is having more information than what we can process. There is so much information that we begin to ignore things that seem to be irrelevant. Email can contribute to this overload.

Email is something that, these days, tends to go out of control quite easily. The average user probably gets somewhere between 30 to 100 emails per day. For some people, just keeping up with email can become a full time job.

There are a few of ways to respond to email.
1) One way is work to hard to respond to everything that comes in.
2) Respond selectively to messages that are of pertinence
3) Not respond as all, possibly not even using email at all.

Not using email in this world, would seem like a disadvantage. However, if you end of having to spend 75% of your time doing email and not the job, then you may need to make a change. A CEO friend of mine running a $150M USD company (actual income is Japanese yen) actually does not even read his own email. He has hired a good assistant to read all his mail. The assistant sends and receives email in his name. Another CEO running a large food services firm, has an email address on his card that is filtered by his assistant and his a separate email address for internal users and customers.

Today, we would like to cover some ideas on how you can avoid becoming an email contributor to information overload and actually write effective emails. Here are some ideas.

1) Be as concise as possible to let people simply know what your purpose is.

2) Use the subject line to let the receiver know what you want. Don’t be afraid to write a sentence in the subject line. There is no rule that says you have to write long emails.

3) Avoid negative emotions in email. Remember, your email may never be deleted or may even be archived by the recipients mail server or system. It is better to voice your concerns either in person or over the telephone. You never want to write what you might regret later.

4) Make good use of white space in your emails.
a. Separate ideas, use bullet points, use subheadings, even send check-lists if necessary to get something done.

5) Don’t write long emails. People don’t want to read them. Limit your email to less than 100 words.

6) Things that you probably don’t want to communicate via email are
a. Bad news, sensitive information, client information,

7) Keep personal email off company email systems. Use a free email service for personal email (webmail) on your breaks or lunch hours to write personal email.

8) Your working hours are the time that you do work email. Do not do personal email when you are on the clock. You might find yourself looking for a job for cheating the company of working time they are paying you for.

9) Follow your gut instinct about what you should send and what you should not. If you have any doubt about any particular topic, it is better not to write it.

Some companies are trying to eliminate the burden of email. In the US, there are organizations that have a˜email free Fridays. On these days, they only communicate with clients via email not internal folks. Some experts are even recommending the following tagging of your email in the subjectline to make things easier for others. For example,

AR– Action Required
NAR– No Action Required

In the best situation, if you write a subject line such as “AR- Sales Meeting Follow up Points” to your email, the receipient would know that they need response. If it were just an informational meeting the subject line would be something like “NAR- Sales Meeting Points” for example. Give this ideas a try at your company and see how things work for you.

Just following these simple steps will help keep email from being a burden and make it more of an effective tool for
-Doing business
-Keeping in touch with people
-Enjoying life