Monday, April 27, 2009

2 Ways to Drastically Improve Your E-mail Productivity

You probably have an automatic email responder to activate when you're out of town. You can certainly benefit from taking a more systemic, or systematic approach to a lot of your communication, especially email.

Here are a few concrete suggestions for leveraging your electronic communication.

1. Make sure you have a signature. On that signature, you may want to put a message like this, "Due to current workload, I only check email every 4 hours, if this is an emergency, please contact ...."

2. When you're communicating through email about a work project or customer concern, set it up (structure) early to avoid email drama. What I mean is spelling out the options, if you agree, we will do X, if you do not agree, I expect you to offer Z as an alternative.

These are two easy ways to really increase your leveraging electronic communication. Of course the most comfortable thing to do is to just check it all the time, and respond reactively, but that's not helping you live your life in a big way.

For example, I recently emailed someone about a current marketing project. I wrote that I expected X to happen on a specific date, and if that were not going to be the case, she should do Y. And furthermore, I would be visiting her office on Z date at Q time, and if that were not suitable, she was to send an alternative suggestion for meeting date and time.