Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How to prioritsie your email...

I've been quite busy lately at work, and I receive lots and lots of email on a daily basis. Obviously this requires some kind of system, so I thought I would share my keys to effiency with you.

First priority is to deal with anything that has been picked up from my gmail account. A cynic would say that having my email at work also pick up my personal mail is just a way of making dealing with personal mail look like work. Not so, I am doing important things for the world economy. For example, this allows me to respond to important emails from friends who may want to know vital information like what time I intend going to the pub. We can then coordinate our economic impetus contributions so that the cash injections we provide aren't spread ineffectually over long periods of time, rather they are delivered in one concentrated hit.

This email redirection also means that I can be kept apprised of the latest special offers from various retailers. Once again this could prompt towards when best to aid either the local, national or global economies with my important purchases.

In between my vital work in international finance comes my day job, which has a much higher volume of email associated with it. This means I have to be ruthless in my efficiency when dealin with work emails. Here a re a few hints and tips:

1) When Part of a group email - Often I am involved in emails between multiple recipients. The unwary can be caught out here. Here's what you do, you keep half an eye on the emails flying about the place that someone has seen fit to cc you on. There is no need to read anything at this stage. Even if it looks like something that is directly related to what you are doing, its usually a good idea to let them run out of steam a bit before you join in. Once these reponses stop, it usually means that the latest one contains a question for you or someone else playing the same game. Read as much of the string of garbage as you need to in order to get the salient details and the basics of the wild misjudgements, bad decisions and outright bollox. Respond with your pearls of wisdom and move away from your desk to make coffee. Repeat.

2) The email uzi- Some people are very odd. They may have 40 questions for you and choose to send them in 40 spearate emails. each response to each email will likely result in 40 more questions sent immediately by the email uzi. Respond to one email every morning until they learn how to use a telephone or write multiple sentences.

3) The Repeater - AKA The Belch. This is the guy who emails you the same question rephrased every 45 minutes. I use copy 'n' paste, you may have another method.

4) Questions from the Client - See 3), sign off with Kind Regards instead of Regards.

There are more but there is opportunity for me to leave on time today and you're probably getting bored by now. w00t!


the projectivist said...

some excellent advice there Mr Matt!
i especially loved the group email protocol. genius.

something worse than an email uzi?
a text uzi - because you're actually paying a small fortune in follow-up texts due to someone's lack of efficiency.
drives me nuts.
e.g. Text:

Idiot text 1: are you home?
Me. reply: yes
Idiot text 2: Can I come around?
Me. reply: sure, no problem.
Idiot text 3: Would you like me to bring anything?
Me. reply: no thanks.
Idiot text 4: How about a dvd?
Me. reply: great


MattJ said...

Yeah...I totally never do that.... :p

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