2. Formality Expectations
Like with all things in life, managing expectations is essential.
In this case, setting standards and norms related to the formality of written, inter-office correspondence goes a long way. Creating norms for reduced formality in writing, when appropriate, is very important as it reduces the amount of time spent on it. This carries through from emails to instant messages, and the rest of electronic communications. Every minute saved in this sense can be spent on things that matter more.
3. Conscious Correspondence
From IM to applications like the now defunct Google Wave messaging to standard email, messages can simply pile up.
Email can easily take over your day, and is an activity that is discussed a great deal among decision-makers, executives, and entrepreneurs. How can you efficiently manage it and respond appropriately?
There are 294 billion emails sent every day, with various conservative estimates putting the daily count for those running businesses up towards 100 a day. Simply put, there needs to be conscious decisions on how you send and receive your messages.
Two distinct strategies for managing the flow of messages are the continuous and then the periodic checks of them throughout your workday, each with their own benefit. The continuous check is appropriate for those that are needed for quick responses and answers throughout the day and nearly all IM contact. On the flip side, the periodic checks are typically for those that are not directly needed for immediate questions.
Use each strategy at different times, depending on how much you can afford being distracted.
Whichever method you choose, the essential point is that when you do check the messages, at least identify – then categorize or delete. Many emails require actions that have to be done at a later point in time, so be diligent about flagging or categorizing them while noting what actions they require.
The crux of this is not leaving a list of opened emails that you have to run through again to determine what they pertain to. Each email should be deleted, answered, or at least flagged or categorized when opened. Then when you write your response, you do so efficiently.
How do you manage your workflow? Let me know in the comments section below.
With over 15 years of media and marketing experience, Todd Bailey is Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy at WebiMax in Mount Laurel, NJ. WebiMax is an industry leading search engine optimization (SEO) firm with over 150 employees and 500+ clients worldwide. Find him on Twitter @WebiMax and personally @push_star.
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