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Here’s an idea for getting some really good work done.

Here’s an idea to help you get very good work done and beat the competition while you’re at it.

I don’t know about you, but now email is a downer and I am tired of it.  It’s become like some kind of inert and ugly time-bomb.  I rarely know how important an email is.  Can I put off reading it for a couple of hours?  Or will it cause me or my company pain if I don’t address it RIGHT NOW?

“Getting behind” email influx feels like failure.  It brings a lot of stress thinking of all those waiting emails… responses, deadlines, expectant parties.  Vacations aren’t worth taking any more because of that problem.  Unbelievable.

Email has gotten out of control.  It has taken over the work-flow by being just like a ringing telephone: disruptive, persistent and demanding.  And you don’t even know that if by giving incoming emails your attention, even for a moment, you’re better served.

Lobbing email volleys back and forth retards innovation and truly great work.  From the CEO to the clerk, people are too busy to help the company assume a leadership position.

If you have this insane problem fix it now.

The people you rely on to get work done are very probably stuck in the horrible email mire.  Help them.  Leave it to your competition to stay on the email track to certain corporate death.  In fact, kill the email problem and by so doing you add another way to own your market.  (That, and the fact that you hire me to help you with your marketing & communication should just about do it.)

A few years back one of my clients had a Vice President who was often maligned for having an Inbox with “too many messages in it”.  This VP had to go to class to learn how to move items out of the Inbox.  The object of the exercise was to show that the employee was “managing the Inbox, which established that work was receiving appropriate priority and would be accomplished.”  I always thought that the problem would have been solved altogether by helping that employee to stop getting all those dumb emails.

My solution: just stop.

  1. Stop thinking that you have to read emails as they come in.  And tell your employees that they don’t have to, either.
  2. Stop thinking that every email (even from important clients) is as important as a ringing telephone.  And tell your employees that it’s OK to take a breather from time to time.

Once you (and your company) cross that psychological hurdle and get control of email, work gets fun, interesting, promising.  You can dream a little, ask the “what if” questions and go find the answers.

Tame email.  Enjoy the moment and opportunity to re-orient your natural magnetic North, your ability to turn a buck.

Tell me how it goes.  Respond by commenting to this article.  Just don’t email me.  I’m behind as it is.  I’ve been working on a way to sell to people who stare at their Inbox all day.