Many thanks to Craig Roth for introducing me to the concept of ‘extreme email triage’. With 411 emails in his inbox, he set aside some uninterrupted time, checked he wasn’t expected in any meetings and ‘triaged’ his way out of email overload. His techniques included:
- Working in stealth mode (he didn’t turn off his out of office until he was ready to do so)
- Scanning for high priority messages (firefighting, red type, subject headings in capitals etc)
- De-spamming (this removed almost 25% of his inbox in one swoop)
His article reminds me of the challenging (for us) decision I reached with several colleagues. We decided to stop burdening each other with our polite acknowledgements and good mannered correspondence and banned thanking each other via email. It made a real difference!
Email inbox now dealt with, I wonder if anyone has any hints on how to deal with the pressure I feel when my Google Reader tells me there are 1000+ items waiting to be read?