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Beyond the Inbox: Rules for Reducing Email

Scheduling Calls

Scheduling Calls

Never schedule a call or meeting using email.

Right now, the usual hallway conversations or impromptu office visits are impossible, so try to use meeting scheduling services that allow people to select a time from your list of available times.

Use specific meeting features of Microsoft Outlook or use Apps/plugins like Calend.ly or Acuity.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Beyond the Inbox: Rules for Reducing Email

Beyond the Inbox: Rules for Reducing Email

https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2020/04/14/beyond-the-inbox-rules-for-reducing-email/

calnewport.com

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Key Ideas

Scheduling Calls

Never schedule a call or meeting using email.

Right now, the usual hallway conversations or impromptu office visits are impossible, so try to use meeting scheduling services that allow people to select a time from your list of available times.

Use specific meeting features of Microsoft Outlook or use Apps/plugins like Calend.ly or Acuity.

Organizing your Obligations

Immediately move obligations out of your inbox and into role-specific archives.

Moving and prioritizing things into specific compartments or zones helps us organize our thought process and workflow. It also helps us focus and does not let different kinds of activity(of our many different roles) overwhelm us.

Working Only In Office Hours

Having fixed working hours (while at home in your pajamas) makes you concentrate better, and be more productive. You need to switch off from work once the office hours are over.

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Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. D...

Create an Email Productivity System

There’s no “definitive” system. The best framework is the one that works for you. Ideally, it should model your work style, supporting the way you work. Bonus points if it’s low-maintenance, fast to set up, and adaptable as your work changes.

Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

Power Up Your Email with Plugins

Some examples:

  • Undo Send: for when you accidentally press the send button.
  • Canned Responses: create a template that you can reuse with canned responses.
  • Send and Archive: Automatically archive an email after replying to it using the send and archive button.

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Shockingly Unproductive

  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.

Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.

Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

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Asynchronous communication

There are mainly two ways to communicate within a company: synchronous and asynchronous communication. While the second type has always been widely practiced, as face-to-face meetings or any other ...

Real-time communication drawbacks

While real-time communication inside of a team might lead to solving faster some issues, it also has various disadvantages. 

For instance, having your colleagues come to ask you questions to which you feel pressured to answer on the spot leads to you being continuously interrupted, which results in being less productive and feeling stressed or even getting a burnout, as you try to do everything in proper time.

The asynchronous workplace

When the employees are provided with control as to when they are willing to communicate with their co-workers, there are many advantages that emerge. 

For instance, having the freedom to decide exactly how your working day should look like leads to more satisfied employees as well as to better communication within the team. Further benefits vary from feeling less stressed due to better planning to greater transparency and more efficient work.

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