Exercise: throttling sent emails

Today’s exercise on the job has been an attempt to throttle my outgoing mail rate.Believe me, that could sound strange but it has been quite a hard exercise as my common rate during the week is 38 mails sent on mondays, then 40, 52, 57 up to friday’s 69 mails.

Today it’s wednesday and I forced me no to exceed the limit of 20 mails. Morning has been quite good: 10 mails only. Afternoon I failed: 15. Total of 25! Ouch!

Anyway these are the best practices I applied:

– I decided not to immediatley reply to sender in orderr to provide him estimated response time.

– I avoided asking for clarifications when not strictly necessary. i.e. senders  will have exactely what they asked for.

– I prepared very carefully any mail for retrieving information, trying to ask closed questions right after a short information sharing intro. Each mail had a sequence of closed questions driving a path of clear possible responses. Anyway I did not ask to reply inline (even if I prefer this format) simply because I think people should be free to inform you their way.

– I used the phone instead of mails; calls calls and calls again, and only in the end I grouped info in a memorandum.

– I tried to break long threads by starting a new one with a short preamble on status quo.

– I avoided sending “just my two cents” mails to a single person sharing informally my point of view. I tried to wonder whether my mail was really necessary and appreciated by the receiver or not.

– I limited “FYI” forwarding, simply collected topics in a mail and eventually attached original. FYI must be once a day only!

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2 responses to “Exercise: throttling sent emails

  1. I have to say that, as in “real” life, communication (one of my weak points) is one of the most important aspects in a consultancy activity. I don’t want to handle the whole issue, but just a single aspect. I found two kind of communication: real time and non real time. To be clear, I classify as real time a conversation by phone or vis-à-vis. It’s non real time an email flow or a chat. My question is which is the more effective. “It depends”, it’s the obvious answer. For example, for me it’s easier to get in chatting with an unknown girl from China (?!?) than to “break the ice” with an as much unknown girl in a disco. But which is more effective? Obvious as before. So, unless you’re talking to yourself (and it’s not always a bad thing), you have to choose the right, more effective, way to communicate looking not only on your “comfort”. Sometimes it’s better to spend half-an-hour in a call than ten minutes for a mail. And often it is more pleasant! What do you think about?

    • Emailing is a way to compromise with shyness (or diffidence).
      Emailing is not trusting discussion can be at least as effective than writing, not just a matter of time.
      Last but not least, Emailing is saving your ass, even if scripta manent is a double blade knife 😉

      Thanks for your comment NicoTripo

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