Unload Email Overload by Bob O’Hare
With the post office carrying less and less mail, the almost disappearance of ‘fax’ communications and the universal unpopularity of voicemail systems we are all experiencing an increase, almost daily, in the amount of email we receive. And there is a tendency to react to it immediately you find it whether it be business related or private. As an ex-IT manager I know this can lead to nightmares for the administration of such email systems as well as the poor user receiving it who ends up being pulled from pillar to post by it.
This book was written to support workshops that Bob O’Hare runs but equally tries to stand on it’s own. The courses are tailored for their individual audience and the book has to try to be more universal to cover the general subject.
I worked in a culture that used email instead of answerphones so you could return to your desk to an email saying ‘Please phone your boss as soon as you get back’. It was also a very customer-centric organisation so if you got an email from a customer you immediately assessed what action to take and ensured the ball was in motion. In view of this I started reading in a very negative attitude as it starts talking about only checking your mail a few times a day, but I read on regardless and kept as open a mind as I could. As I read on, the nature of the book became apparent and it started to explain how some of the rules should be ‘flexed’ by different roles in email usage. It then started to suggest actions I found very controversial, like keeping your inbox empty! Reading on once again and keeping an open mind I started to realise that there was a great deal of sense to what was being said.
I came to the conclusion that there were things that anyone can learn from this book if they have email issues and are prepared to keep an open mind while reading it!
Genre – Non-fiction, Computing
Buy Unload Email Overload: How to Master Email Communications from Amazon
|Whew, and Thank You!, January 30, 2013
Finally, someone has come out with an entire book devoted to the subject of email overload – or how email abuses us! Reading Bob O’Hare succinct and reader-friendly book is such a relief that it can only be suggested that everyone who has fallen into the Internet hole (is anyone NOT there these days?) buy this book and read every page.
Few of us realize how much time email reading and answering and writing and responding and creating chews up our day. The most often first movement of the day is to open email – and then spend the next hour plus responding to garbage, spam, ads, mass mailings, requests of political donations, `order this as it is your last chance’ blurbs etc. The real guilt is keeping things we don’t want to deal with in our inbox to address later – WRONG, according to O’Hare! In this book we learn how to manage our email, how to break the symbiotic attachment to your email box, succinct ways to answer email correspondence without alienating the sender, how to ration your time and even employ someone to rid your existence of all the junk that pours in everyday, cluttering our minds and hours with unnecessary.
Try the recommendations of Bob O’Hare and discover how much of your life you regain! We really do have spare time, you know….. Grady Harp, January 13
Bob’s Unload Email Overload radio interview with Eric & Angel on the nationally syndicated Experience Pros Radio Show.
Bob held a question and answer session with the two delightful hosts. Eric was funny about the 2000 inmails he had in his inbox.
Bob gave tips to solve the problems of individuals who called into the show. Fun time!
Your email inbox often fills up because you see something you want to read later when you have more time. These emails accumulate and soon it is hard to find anything in an over-crowded, stale inbox. There is a better way.
Establish a Read It Later (RIL) folder to relieve your email overload. When you receive a message you would like to read later when you have time, grab and drag that message to the RIL folder. It will be out of the inbox and avoid the clutter.
One more thing. When you set up the RIL folder, have it automatically delete any message that becomes 30 days old.
Weekend email tip! We can do business email all week and, for the most part, do not have to read or send weekend email to colleagues. If there are a few business leftovers, they can be managed, sorted out or deleted early next week to get the business inbox empty.
On the weekend, clear out your personal inbox. Take the time for pictures, jokes and sales. Move through attachments and travel your social networks. Empty your personal inbox.
Go to work Monday and start your business email routine again–process three times per day–empty inbox every day.
Several times this week I read that the always on culture affects creativity. By constantly shifting your thoughts from one subject to the other, your mind is busy sorting things out to address later on. You have to turn off, relax and let your mind wander in order to create. How can you do that with an always-on culture? When you finally get a minute to yourself, don’t reach for your Smartphone.
I’m sure you know your subconscious mind helps you solve problems and make decisions. A Newsweek article (February 27, 2011 by Sharon Begley) makes the point that the constant impact of new information disables the ability of the subconscious mind to mull over issues and decision-making suffers. Don’t let your decision-making suffer. Don’t let arriving email constantly supply new information. Shut off email alerts!
Every day I receive Google alerts pertaining to email overload. I am more and more convinced the interruptive nature of incoming email is not only bad for business productivity, it is unhealthy. Constant switching from one task to another and feeling you can’t get anything done is stressful. When I checked the Basex survey (Basex.com, Cody Burke, information overload) it showed email responsible for 66% of information overload. Send less email to reduce the stress in your life and the lives of others. Enjoy a conversation.
Do you remember that paper copies used to be printed through carbon paper? Can you recall that making copies required extra supplies, skill and cost? Usually only two copies were made. One went into a chronological file and the other, usually, to a gotta-know-boss. There was not a lot of carbon copy correspondence and yet the world kept turning.
Sending email carbon copies is just too easy to do and we haven’t thought enough about the costs in time, energy and money. Reduce the number of email carbon copies you send. Start with FYI and charge those who want you to cc them.
We know bad email practices are not productive. If you believe someone is sending you CYA email, tell them you trust them and there is no need for it. Do you trust them, hmmm? Of what could they be afraid? Are you the sender? Think about why you send it and then make an effort to help yourself.