I’m on an email productivity war path and it’s not what you think. This post is a vent on email stupidity … the sticky spider’s web that has us trapped and struggling to come up for air. It’s a protest on ridiculous human sheep-like-behaviour and the perpetual need to please. Frankly, email can be a pain in the arse sometimes and I’m sick of pretending everything is rosy in my inbox.
So, this is not a post about what you should do to reach email enlightenment; for that I’d suggest you read our riveting rambles on email productivity. This is however, a rant on the time sapping energy wasters that clog up hours of your precious day. Stuff meeting expectations, this is what not to do.
Do NOT send a reply!
No “thanks” “got it” “awesome” “su-pah” or any other one worded responses are needed to emails you receive. If someone has sent a mail, they should assume you’ve received it, read it and will action it. The chain of expectant well-mannered superlatives should be left at the door of your email inbox. Period.
Read receipt … NO!
What exactly is the point of this I ask with tears in my eyes. Just because I clicked the ‘read’ notification doesn’t actually mean I read the sodding mail. This extra action from my side just adds incoming mail on your side. It’s pointless and I say NO!
Signature blocks – use them for F’s sake
Okay, so this isn’t really about what not to do, but it needs to be mentioned. If you can’t take the time (and I’m talking nanoseconds here) to do a once off, I repeat … once off, email signature block set up for all your sent and replied to mails, you’re wasting my time. I’m not asking for anything fancy, just a name (first will do) and a contact number just in case it’s, dare I say, more appropriate for me to respond to your mail with a quick phone call instead of a long mail. Thank you.
Save the thesis writing for the thesis
If you honestly think I have time to read through a long winded, beat around the bush, never getting to the point email, you are sadly mistaken. Add the time you’ve taken to put this long prose together and we’ll quickly figure out why disorganisation costs companies millions. Think: main point in first paragraph, headings, bullet points, to the point … for your sake and mine. Please!
Don’t expect my reply if you CC me (full stop)
I get it that in some work environments you feel you need to watch your back. Not all teams are created equal and evil sometimes lurks. If you expect me to respond to your mail then send the mail “to” me. CC’d mails are for the recipients attention only.
I realise I’m going on a bit but it’s probably best for me to get this off my chest one time. Making these meaningful, and I mean more than “hello” or “agenda” really makes a difference to both of our productivity. In fact, if you can contain the whole gist of your mail in just the subject line (while keeping the subject line short of course) then I applaud you ‘muchly’. Think “Confirming Tue 8am conference call” means you don’t have to mince around in a wordy mail and neither do I. The end.