Daily Tip: Go Easy on the Email

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Sometimes it seems as if we’ve collectively surrendered to the urge to check email every 30 seconds, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. People even treat email on their phones as a time-killer, something to do while they’re trapped in a boring meeting or slow-moving line.

For years, you might have operated under the assumption that ubiquitous access to email was the best thing ever. Who wouldn’t want to fire off ten pithy messages while waiting for the K-cup machine to fill their mug with steaming java? But in your travels through the business world, you might have noticed a subtle-but-growing pushback against email.

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For instance, you have Julie Morgenstern, Laura Vanderkam, and other workplace experts advising that employees “glance” at email, rather than getting bogged down in it, especially first thing in the morning. There’s former Google CEO Eric Schmidt offering up nine pithy tips to prevent email from taking over your workflow. And last but certainly not least, communications platforms such as Slack want to reduce email’s prominence altogether.

That’s not to say that email doesn’t remain a fantastic tool—in moderation.

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2 Responses to “Daily Tip: Go Easy on the Email”

  1. jelabarre

    But the business alternative to email these days would end up being insistent messaging (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose). IM has the disadvantage of having *less* meaningful content. Granted, if people are firing off emails at such a rapid pace, they probably aren’t dealing with much actual content anyway. But an email *can* be dealt with at your leisure, while IM *demands* your response, whether it’s a good time or not.

  2. @JELABARRE, Interesting take, I’ve always viewed IM as the type of communication that’s less important and can wait, but you need to get it out immediately to someone but you expect a response when you get a response. Email’s a little more priority. Phone more priority. Walk to their location highest priority 🙂

    Cheers