Monday, January 14, 2013

How to handle emails

I am reading through a very helpful book called, Extreme Productivity, by Robert C. Pozen. He recommends the acronym OHIO, which means Only Handle it Once. Apply this idea to how we handle the flood of emails we receive each week and his idea begins to make sense. Hope you find a way to integrate this into your life.

·         Don’t get addicted to your email by checking it constantly! You’ll only distract yourself when you should be doing something else more productive. Instead, check your email on a set schedule— every hour or so. One caveat: if your boss insists that you reply to his or her emails immediately, you may grudgingly have to meet his or her time demands.  

·         If you want to be more ambitious in kicking your email addiction, you’ll need the cooperation of your colleagues. Work collectively with your firm to call an “email holiday”— a set hour (or more) each week when emails are banned. 

·         If there’s a long thread of emails back and forth, look at the most recent reply first. The latest reply may have resolved whatever issues were brought up earlier in the conversation.
•  Your inbox may be overflowing with “FYI” emails copied to you from your subordinates. If you are overwhelmed by such emails, ask your colleagues and employees to be more selective about what they send along.
•  Similarly, think before you hit “reply all.” Does everyone really need to see your latest response?
•  Lastly, a big pet peeve of mine: resist the urge to send a one-word reply saying, “Thanks!” Instead, show your thankfulness by minimizing the flow of emails to the person who first sent the email.
 Pozen, Robert C. (2012-10-02). Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours (p. 36). HarperBusiness.