In This Episode…
Back in Episode 175, I outlined a set of process goals. One of those was to “define my approach to e mails”. My intention is not to become an “Email Ninja”.
I think the challenges I am facing with email go deeper than just finding tactics to cope with the volume of messages in my inbox.
In this episode I share my thoughts on the challenges of email but make a couple of key distinctions that I think are going to be important for me as I address this issue.
Episode Transcript (Edited)…
Hi and welcome to today’s episode of the Profit Productivity Podcast. It’s your host, Michael Tipper, who else would it be?
Now today’s episode is going to be called, (it’s there a bit of a long one), “Taking Back Control And Getting On Top Of Emails But Not In The Way You Might Think”.
Let me give you some background to today’s episode. Now in episode 175 I made the distinction between having outcome goals and process goals. I talked about setting up my goals for the next couple of years and how I was going to achieve them.
But one of the things that is also important is making sure I develop my skills so that I can achieve them. And in that episode I identified six things that I felt I needed to work on in the short term that would be processes I would need to have in place to allow me to achieve my long term goals.
- The first of those was get clear on my goals of 2020 which I’ve done.
- Then was revitalising my planning and review process of the activities to achieve those goals, which I’ve done.
- Then I needed to create a system for capturing and recording my ongoing research, which I’ve done.
- I also needed to create a system for capturing the ideas that arise from my research, which I’ve done.
- And the next one is to clarify and refine my approach to dealing with emails.
Now emails and the handling of them is a real big issue for many, many people. In fact, for most of the people in the world who have email, it’s a problem. But certainly it’s been a major problem for all of my coaching clients that I’ve worked with recently.
They all face challenges with email and with my help they’ve been able to handle that and it’s been a huge step forward in them in developing their productivity because the burden of emails was such a large one for them. It was causing them all sorts of problems.
So with my help they’ve been able to move those forward.
So if I’m advising people on how to deal with email, what’s my problem? Am I walking my talk?
Well, yes I am walking my talk because I apply all of the things I’ve been sharing with my clients. I follow a disciplined approach to email. I check it only twice a day. I help my readers consume my emails so they’re more likely to get read and taken action on.
But I think the problems I’m having go deeper than the issue of dealing with the volume and quantity of email. I think my current inbox is symptomatic of the challenges that I’m facing.
I often say when I work with organisations, there are two things that are evidence of organisational dysfunctionality. One is the quality of meetings and how they’re run. And secondly is how people handle and deal with email.
I think at the moment my email is symptomatic of a level of organizational dysfunctionality that I have.
In particular, I’m not happy with the response times that I’m putting to some emails. I’m letting them hang. I’m letting them drift a little without actually dealing with them straight away.
Now I’m not quite sure whether that is just a bit of procrastination on my part, whether it’s a habit that I’ve got or a lack of discipline or whether I’m not clear what to do with them,.
That’s why I’ve implied that maybe it’s symptomatic of my organisational dysfunctionality.
So this issue about me looking at my emails, it’s about me looking at how emails support my business activities. I’m not out to become an email Ninja with all the little tools and tricks and and tags and things like that because that’s just about managing email.
I fundamentally feel that email is a tool for me to do my business. I’m not there to do email. It’s a tool for me and I think sometimes the tail is wagging the dog.
So this is about me looking at the communication channel that is email and how I apply myself to being more disciplined so that it serves me better. I also want it to serve the people I communicate with more effectively too.
So over the next few days, it might even take weeks, I don’t know how long it’s going to take, this is my current process development project – getting on top of my email communication.
Now, this might also extend to the communication I have via other mediums such as WhatsApp messages or Facebook messages, or even texts is. I’ve noticed that there’s also a tendency for leaving things hanging, not responding, and not closing things down quickly there too.
So this is why I’m pretty sure that this is symptomatic of organisational dysfunctionality rather than just a lack of email skills. So that’s what I’ll be looking at in the next few days at least.