From the data I’ve seen, we receive twice as much daily e-mail in 2012 than in 2008. And yes it has hit me too, like an elephant dart square to the face.
It gets started for me in the morning upon waking up. Not yet out of bed, I pull a laptop onto my lap and start checking e-mail. Today there were 1,000+ e-mails to download. A few hundred more arrive in the next six hours.
At one time I budgeted three hours per day to deal with all my e-mail. Now, I’m afraid to tally up the time. It’s getting more difficult to process it all before lunch time.
Why do I receive so much e-mail? Mostly it is related to my job. As a professor, I must keep up with developments in the accounting world so I can stay current in my classes. I receive news alerts from Google (about 60 key terms related to accounting), newsletters from major national and international newspapers, Twitter notifications, LinkedIn group notifications, etc.
As a blogger, I keep up with the latest essays from influential professors, economists, writers, social media gurus, etc. Most e-mail contains a link to a news article or blog post. Reading a paper newspaper takes way too much time. Everything I read is online.
Holly Riesem of Ragan.com: News and Ideas for Communicators has a nice piece titled, “7 ways to manage email overload.” She suggests the following.
- Create an e-mail schedule.
- Create these folders: follow-up, hold and archive. Then add sub and sub-sub folders as necessary.
- Two minute rule–immediately deal with anything that will take two minutes or less. Otherwise, put it in the follow up folder.
- Unsubscribe from lists and alerts as you no longer need them.
- Responses should be brief.
- Use templates for frequently used responses.
- Read each e-mail, don’t just quickly skim it.
Debit and credit – David Albrecht