Remember the days before email? Not likely. Most organizations started adopting email in the 1990s as a way to assist in better communication. Email came with a lot of promises it largely delivered on: connecting people a long way away, reducing cost from postage, allowing for asynchronous work, and improving the speed of communication. But, like many things, we finished up pushing it a touch too far. Ok, perhaps a lot too much.
We now use email to join up for services, have long interactions, receive coupons, get up to date, inform someone we’re mad, inform everyone about Madeline’s party, store seats, and mark duties to be done. In short, we’ve overdone email. And it has created a trap for the true work we are supposed to be doing. Email is becoming such a central part of our work that the first action for many people when these are starting ‘work’ is to fire up their email. The problem is that email is not work. Email is communication about work-and dozens of other things too.
But in some way, if we spend half the day going right through all the email messages we receive and replying to some of these, we feel like we’ve accomplished something. But what can you say if you saw someone standing up by their physical inbox in the mailroom at the office for half the day?
Or think about the person who would get up to check it every thirty minutes, of the day back there only to finish up spending most? You observe them sorting through letters, laughing quietly, and dumping a lot of letters in the recycle bin. Curiously, you ask, “What are you doing? “Do you now work in the mailroom?
Despite that shot of dopamine, you get when you see a new message come into our inbox, spending more time in an email is not helping you at all. In the event that you were managing see your face who’s up out of their table and in the mailroom every 30 mins, you would tell them to find a way to concentrate on their work.
Many of us treat email this way. We get notifications and buzzers and bright red numbers that appear every time a new message comes through. As well as the worst part is that people have trained ourselves to believe that checking email is our work. So much so that lots of of us are captured in a trap. We go directly to the working office and spend a few hours sorting through and responding to email, an full hour or two for conferences, and we’ve very little time still left for the real work we are supposed to do. The day not achieving much and our work is captured in the capture We leave.
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Email still keeps an important place in the workspace, just like the mailroom used to. However, it’s only effective when you limit its use to what it is intended for. Like physical mail Just, email is regulated to formal communication with people outside of your office best. When we try to use email to track long conversations, manage processes, organize projects, store receipts, or set reminders, we misuse the tool and open up our work for chaos. Here are several alternatives you should think about to lessen your use of email around any office and get your projects out of the email capture.
Messaging apps. For quick (and even extended) conversations, than taking pictures someone an email rather, have the conversation in a dedicated messaging app. Messaging apps allow for more instant access to people and reduce the urgency required to check your email all day long. Process management. Communication around routine standard procedures shouldn’t happen in email. Take paid time off management for example. Rather than sending an email to your supervisor that may get lost amongst a sea of other communication, use a dedicated process management tool that will begin to route the mandatory information where it requires to go. Any standard, predictable process can be tell you a competent process automation tool.
Project management. Projects are one-time occasions that want a lot of coordination usually. Email is horrible at coordination. You intend to use a project management tool like a kanban-style plank where multiple team members can see what is going on instantly and the way to collaborate better. Task management. Many people will either star or leave communications in their inboxes that they have to look after later.
However, email is not a good way to organize and prioritize the duties you need to do. By utilizing a dedicated task management tool, you can better concentrate on the highest concern items and not let your efficiency be dependent on the next email that comes into your inbox. Email is a great tool for offices across the world, but it’s time to regulate it to its place. So many other great options can be found that do a much better job of assisting you organize and connect about work.