Posted by: zyxo | January 16, 2009

Reducing my work email

These days email tends to eat up a great deal of our working time. A lot of articles on the internet deal with being a slave of email, email overflow, or on how to cope with too much email.

As a reaction to all this email came the initiatives of Luis Suarez : giving up work email, where he tried to get the weekly number of incoming emails down to zero, or the email brevity challenge of Jennifer Leggio who encourages everybody to limit the email body to the length of a tweet : 140 characters.

All this email means only one thing : enterprises 2.0 are still rare ! If you work in an enterprise with no social tools, email is all you have got. And as the saying goes : “if you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.
But it is hard to get an enterprise from 1.0 to 2.0. You have to break down some silos, as is discribed in this article from Connectbeam.

Anyway, the enterprise I work in is still in its 1.0 phase. Everybody only uses emal, phones and, yes,can you believe, still a lot of printed paper to distribute reports !!

So this week I realized that in our company there exists a little tool that permits instant messaging. It is not as good as, say, MSN, but for short instant messages it does the job.
As only a few are aware of the existence of this tool, you can imagine how my colleagues are surprised receiving instant messages in stead of short emails. And I hope it is contagious.

In the meantime I began to clean up my inbox an “sent” folder and also got to arranging my “knowledge” in a personal wiki (wiki-on-a-stick). My ultimate goal is, when I leave the office at the end of the day, to have my inbox empty !
I wonder if I will keep up the discipline ! But I know it is worth the effort, since everything will be so much easier afterwards.
What I am already accomplishing is not to let it grow any more. An important first step. And from time to time a little cleanup ensures that my email heap diminishes.

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