Written by Mary Hallock - IMEC Manufacturing Specialist
Every day people are busy at work - our minds become cluttered with information from one source or another; some of it's important and some is just noise. Do yourself AND your co-workers a favor and remember these nine simple rules for reducing email waste.
- Rule 1 – Limit “CC’s” to only those that are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Make a rule that employees can choose to BLOCK all CC e-mails.
- Rule 2 – No more than two “cycles” back and forth between correspondents. If the issue is not resolved by that point, USE THE TELEPHONE!
- Rule 3 – No unnecessary forwarding of attachments; use a hyperlink instead.
- Rule 4 – Always include the POINT and URGENCY of the e-mail in both the subject line and the first few lines of the text.
- Rule 5 – Consider using the first few sentences of an e-mail as an ABSTRACT that summarizes the remainder of the communication. Below the abstract, add additional detail with the comment, "More detail follows…”
- Rule 6 – KEEP IT BRIEF! No e-mail should be more than 20 lines in length (consider using a network filter to block any that are longer).
- Rule 7 – Start the subject line with “ACTION” whenever immediate action is required by the addressee. Actions should be identified at the beginning of the e-mail.
- Rule 8 – Try using the SUBJECT LINE to communicate the ENTIRE message, followed by “EOM” which stands for “End of Message”.
- Rule 9 – Limit the number of times during the day that you cleanup or respond to e-mails. Turn off the e-mail alarm, so YOU control when you deal with e-mail.
So shorten it up and be direct. If there are people on the email chain that are unnecessarily included, be kind and save them time!
For more information on organization behavior and strategy, including supervisor effectiveness, please contact Mary Hallock at email@example.com.