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Blake Beattie
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Information overload Tips to Winning the Email Avalanche  23.09.2008

 A recent article by the Sunday Telegraph showed that over 210 billion emails are sent every day (which is a five fold increase from 2000). We are bombarded with information, much of which wastes our valuable time and energy. Sometimes, we can spend a great deal of time going through emails that do not add any value to the work we are doing – if anything, they erode our precious time. Thankfully, most forms of junk-mail are a thing of the past if you have set up good anti-spam filters. But what of those emails that are in the form ‘reply all’ from friends and co-workers - when the contents really have nothing to do with you? Other people use email in a time deficient way – when a simple phone call would save valuable time from emailing back and forth a few times.


So what can we do about our obsession with email? How can we get our valued time and energy back?


Here are some examples that are being implemented by companies as we speak:


·       Google has developed an ‘Email Addict’ function that turns off your email for 15 minutes when you are a compulsive checker (I would suggest that the time frame should be much longer than this – perhaps every 2 hours)

·       Some organisations encourage staff to delete their entire inbox (I suggest that each email gets used, filed or deleted straight away – without exception….A strong organisation system is needed for this to take effect)

·       E-toxing – An organised shutdown day where unused programs are deleted

·       Mandatory deletion of emails that are more than 3 weeks old, getting rid of RSS feeds and getting rid of all subscriptions that are not being read

·       Intel has implemented an email free Friday (productivity has soared as a result)


From my experience, many professionals develop bad email habits that lead to a great deal of wasted time. Decide on a better system that works for you and then work hard in the beginning to trial the new system. It will feel uncomfortable at first – but all new habits take time and energy to enable them to become automatic.


If you just save 20 minutes a day from better email management system – you will save 7,280 minutes in a year (equating to more than 5 full days). Of course the other upside is that you will feel more empowered and have greater energy that comes from a more efficient method.


Enjoy the journey…..

Copyright www.blakebeattie.com 2008

Executive Director: Inspire Consulting
Vice Chairperson:  Life Changing Experiences Foundation
Voted one of the next generation leaders of Australia

Blake is an expert at turning potential into performance through an empowered mind. He helps individuals and organisations breakthrough the barriers to success through leading-edge, practical techniques and is a highly sought after international speaker.

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