We’ve had far too much moaning and groaning about “email overload.” It does exist, but “they” aren’t going to make it go away. You have to do that. Here’s how:

Develop skills for managing e-mail

  • Teach yourself to file messages in your E-mail software. Learn to copy them into your word processor, add comments, and file them in an organized way. Share techniques with a colleague.
  • Learn to write clean, short e-mails that quickly indicate what they are about and what action is required.
  • Learn to use a focused, informative subject line that clearly says what the note is about, and will be useful in future retrieval of the message.
  • Take a moment to think about who you’re sending this to. Do they all need it? Will they welcome it?

Push those skills out

If you’re a manager, help your staff do this. Encourage sharing of techniques. Hold mini-seminars. Set expectations. Recognize successes. And don’t forget to lead by example.

If you’re not a manager, write a newsletter article or something similar. Offer to give a mini-presentation at a staff meeting.

Also: End Information Overload

Last Reviewed on 4 years