It's a conversation I have with work colleagues, almost on a daily basis. They tell me that they were away from their desks for a couple of hours and came back to find 47 new emails in their inbox. "Why and how does this happen?", they ask.
My answer is simple. People are not only addicted to email but more importantly, they are utterly dependent like junkies are to crack, on the false feeling of having accomplished a task. A task completed by composing or forwarding some non-sensical pieces of jumbled words to someone else and contributing to their to-do list.
In the workplace, your inbox is your to-do list. And how awesome is it to know that you can forward a task that's landed on your list and be able to send it on to not just one other person, but to a whole team (or teams!). After you've hit the SEND button, you don't have to worry about that task ever again.. right??
To put it lightly, email is the cancer in your organisation. The quicker you rid of these toxic processes the better. I have 5 simple keys to help you drive this:
- Talk about it to your colleagues. Constantly be talking about how wrong it is until.. well, until they GET IT.
- Don't check your email. Not completely of course, but can you go a whole hour without checking your inbox? Try it. Set yourself free.
- Don't respond to email. This can be a little dangerous, but respond only if it is absolutely necessary.
- Take it to the ESN. You have an Enterprise Social Network. USE IT.
- CTRL-A | DEL. Recommended only for experts.
// Originally posted on Google+.