Emails…we all get a ton of them every day. The business world pretty much runs on email these days. But, are you actually paying attention to what people are sending you?
Taking the time to stop and read the words – all of them – is becoming a lost art, I find.
With email overload, people are scanning and reading as fast as possible, taking action of some sort and moving to the next one.
Many of us are guilty of this – life is so fast-paced, it is hard not to focus as you should. I feel sometimes like the Firefighter teaching the class in kindergarten what to do if their clothes catch fire. You know…Stop Drop and Roll.
Well, with emails we may need to apply the same principle - Stop, Drop and Read.
- Stop - If you are planning to open the email, stop all other work. Multi-tasking is NOT your friend.
- Drop - Drop everything else and concentrate on the content.
- Read - Actually take the time to read all of the words. Some people can have more than one topic in the email.
As the writer, there are things to do to help your reader as well:
- Focus and keep it to the point.
- Bold and bullet point important parts.
- Keep emails, as much as possible, to one topic and task.
Another BIG TRICK to tackling your inbox is to create a system and set aside time to review emails – not having it open all the time. If you are the type to keep it open and check every couple minutes, your productive time will decrease every day. Use blocks of time set aside to check the emails and then you can sort and deal with the emails for a certain period of time and then back to work – probably with a couple new to-do’s adding in from the emails you read!
So remember - Stop, Drop and Read…you may find you actually get more out of the emails this way too and not miss important information.