quick rules for email

some small things i do to increase my productivity and the productivity
of others around me:

– only check email once an hour (and turn off all email reminders) …
sometimes i submit to the guilty pleasure and check email every 30 minutes
– when i get an email, i reply right away.   
– jettison IM
– don’t check email on my phone unless i need to.   
– respond to all emails before i go to bed every day.   never have
anything in my in-box before i fall asleep.   (sometimes i respond to
emails with a "i’ll get back to you on tuesday on this")
– i try never to CC other people unless absolutely necessary.   it is
unfair to waste their time.
– i speed read (or sometimes just delete) emails i am CCed on
– when i reply to emails, i try never to "reply all" as it is a waste
of other’s time.  i try to respond directly to the person were my email is
most targeted.

– i always try to have the minimum number of people from my company in
mtgs.   if only one person is needed, then two never go. 
big waste of time.   sometimes we determine that zero people are
– phone mtgs are often better than in person mtgs.   

to do:
– i to do list everything.   in the last six months i have written
and completed 4358 tasks … that is about 24 tasks a day. 

– jettison TV
– i try to be on-time to all meetings … i want to respect the time of those
around me
– I try to save time of those around you be not giving them things that are
half-baked.   i try to communicate so there is not ambiguity so
they’re not doing double work.

(my biggest pet peeve: when someone does not respect my time)


1 thought on “quick rules for email

  1. Patrick Lightbody

    Good tips. My email habits are pretty similar. Another tip for RSS feeds: if you’re interested in a general area (ie: AJAX), find an aggregate blog to subscribe to rather than a few key RSS people. The important news will bubble up (for AJAX, I subscribe only to http://www.ajaxian.com).
    Another one is to make your home page on your browser a blank page rather than something like my.yahoo.com or google’s personalized page. All they do is distract you 🙂


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