Harold Taylor is a time management expert. He produces a monthly newsletter. Here is one of his articles. I hope you enjoy it.
Taylor’s Time Report – December 5, 2012
Do you respond to a lot more email messages than you originate? Are you deleting emails unanswered or unread? Are you spending so much time reacting to email that you don’t have time for creativity, relaxation and renewal? If so, calculate your “Reactive Ratio.”
Count the total number of email messages you receive during a day. Include spam, egroup messages and newsletters whether you still read them or not. Divide the total number of incoming email messages by the number that you send during the day. The resulting ratio should be as low as possible.
You can easily calculate this ratio if you don’t delete or move anything until the end of the day – even those that you have answered. The next morning, quickly count the total number of emails received the previous day as well as those sent the same day.
If the ratio is high, take action by cancelling newsletters that you seldom read, get off egroups you don’t participate in, place spam filters at higher levels, and get off mailing lists. Consider using a different email address for purchases to avoid spam. Question whether all incoming messages require a reply. For instance, don’t thank people for thanking you. Consider adding “No reply necessary” to many of your outgoing messages. And investigate apps such as “unroll.me.”
Your outgoing messages also consume time and generate incoming messages. So question whether a quick phone call is better. Don’t copy people who have no need for the information.
Even more important than your “Reactive Ratio” is the total time you spend on email each day. Keep messages brief. Use text replacement software for longer & repetitive replies such as instructions or directions. Allocate specific times to check and respond to email. This could be one hour late morning and one hour late afternoon. If you can get by with less time, so much the better. But don’t fragment your day by checking email every few minutes or every hour.
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