News Letter [Home]
December, 2014

Enhancing Productivity by Minimizing Email Overuse

On May 3, 1978, an employee of Digital Equipment Corporation in the US whose flagship mini computer, the PDP-11 had become the global industry standard for mini computing, sent out what is believed to be the world’s first email message. The simple ten liner was sent to about 600 prospective customers on the secure ARPANET network funded and managed in part by the US Federal Government.

Turn the clock forward almost four decades later and we find that email messaging is as ubiquitous as computing devices themselves. By 2003, the total number of email messages sent and received had touched 90 trillion annually and the figures today are significantly higher. Smartphones and handheld devices have also contributed in no uncertain terms to the email avalanche which has revolutionized the way we communicate using the printed word.

With the convenience of email comes the drudgery of distraction. Email can be a blessing and a detriment rolled into a single cyber entity. Here are a few steps you can take to push the right productivity buttons by controlling and perhaps reducing the time you spend on email:  

Unsubscribe from Lists

It is neither uncommon nor unusual for us to get all excited about signing up for an email membership using an opt-in method. The subject interests us. Moreover, it bears direct relevance and significance to our professional roles and functions. However, sign-ups should be strictly governed by a sense of realism. If you have not read an email message from a mailing list, a Yahoo Group or a Google Group for a month, it obviously isn’t important enough for you to remain subscribed and therefore it is time to unsubscribe. Membership commitments are never written in stone which is why you can always join the mailing list again if you find the time down the road.

Maintain 3 Email addresses

Although the leading web mail and SMTP mail service providers now promise and assure email segmentation features in real time, it is still a good idea to maintain three separate email addresses:

  • The first email for business mail only either assigned to you by your company or one that you have set up for this purpose yoursel.
  • A second email address for personal messages and social media memberships such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+
  • A third email address to manage list subscriptions

Here is why: There will be times during the week when you will be pressed for time. The scheduling constraints you will experience will allow you to do justice to all your official and business email messages which you should never ignore or respond to in a delayed fashion. Messages received in your personal and list subscription inboxes will never go away and you can always go through them when you are on a flight or are relatively less preoccupied.

Transition to an Instant Messenger designed for Business use

While email is an excellent way to send and receive official communication in the written mode, it continues to harbor a few functional disadvantages. Email does not support two-way communication in real time. There can be issues with delayed responses. Once in a while, a legitimate message can find its way into your spam folder or simply disappeared displaying the age-old sock-in-the-washer syndrome. Instant messengers for business use secure 256 bit SSL interactive live chat to facilitate not just two-way but also group communication. You can even send a message to every employee in your company with a single mouse click, send and receive sticky notes as described in the accompanying report on sticky notes, participate in live conferences, generate paper trails through chat transcripts, and reduce phone and email dependencies.