It’s that “most wonderful” time of the year again, where you mind moves from moving mountains to celebrating time together with the family. One common struggle is the goal to empty the inbox before switching on the “out of office” and leaving the office to join family and friends. Especially now, with the 24-7, “always on” connected global economy professionals welcome this quiet period to recharge.
Below you can find tips from the best of the business world, like Bill Gates, ZAPPO’s Tony Hsieh, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner and Ivanka Trump. Here are some of our AMBITION.ONE members’ tips;
Marten Adema – Majnoon Venture integration advisor, UAE and AMBITION.ONE member – “If I reply to an email, I save it in the drafts folder and do not send it out (unless it is safety critical, nothing is more important than the safety of people). At the end of the day, I check my drafts folder for all the replies I made during the day. Typically, 20-50% of those replies have become redundant because the issue has solved itself, or I’ve had the opportunity to speak with individuals. This saves a large amount of email traffic.
I also tend to limit email usage to the following: sending links, files, approvals, meeting invites etc – very dry and factual information and unemotional. For all other topics I try to get in touch with people through calls or face-to-face sessions.”
Femke de Jager VP Digital Manufacturing Cap Gemini and AMBITION.ONE member – Draft your mails the way you would like to receive them yourself. Make them personal with the receiver in mind and be specific and to the point on the message you want to bring across.
Gerard Salvador AMBITION.ONE member – The Problem: E-mail takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it. The Solution: Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead. http://five.sentenc.es/
Joost d’Hooghe AMBITION.ONE founder – Filter fast, move mails that you have read and do not need to process into an “archive” folder, don’t be affraid to delete mails where you feel they are not relevant. You need to manage your information flows in today’s digital world.
Apart from the Christmas holiday and the Summer Holiday I never use the out-of-office notification. The out-of-office notification that people otherwise receive are annoying for the reader. Also be professional with your out-of-office text, no need to mention which beautiful island you are going to travel to. Make sure to be formal, and add information when you return and if you will read the mails. What to do in emergency.
Ivanka Trump takes email ‘offenders’ to task
Foto: source AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
“As with many things in life, you have to manage your inbox, or it will manage you,” the executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization and head of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand writes on Fortune.
One strategy she employs to manage email inefficiency is to periodically search her inbox for frequent emailers, identifying those people who send “long, meaty emails that really are better discussed through conversation rather than electronically,” and then she sets up a weekly check-in meeting with them to discuss ongoing questions or issues.
Going forward, these people can only email Trump if something is urgent.
“I find that a handful of ‘offenders’ make up the lion’s share of my email overload,” she says.
Hootsuite CEO and founder Ryan Holmes goes for email broke
Foto: source Kris Krüg/Flickr
When overwhelmed with his inbox, Holmes likes to “declare inbox bankruptcy” and delete everything so he can start fresh.
He recommends only doing this once every few years, and practitioners should add a disclaimer message to their email signature after deleting unread mails. Something like, “Sorry if I didn’t get back to your last email. To become a better communicator, I’ve recently declared email bankruptcy,” he advises.