How NOT To Get Buried In Emails

Person typing an emailOne of the biggest complaints from supervisors across all industries is the hours each day it takes to go through emails.

Unfortunately, managers get sent the most emails out of anyone else in the company.

Not only are they addressed directly, but they are also copied on emails between colleagues, as they prefer for the leader to be in the loop of what is going on in the office.

Long email threads seem to be the biggest problem, as bosses see their inbox fill up with dozens of replies to a single initial email.

In this blog post, we will offer tips to cut long email threads.

Change The Title

More often than not, an email could have been sent asking about the due date of a specific project, only to have weekend plans discussed by the tenth email reply.

Therefore, it is wise to instruct your entire team that if the email is going in a different direction and has nothing to do with the original thread, to change the title and assess whether everyone copied on the email still needs to be involved.

By re-evaluating the content of each reply, you and your team will be able to save time by not having to read countless unimportant emails.

Ask For Explanations

Instruct your staff that if they will cc you on the email instead of writing to you directly, they must include a brief explanation at the top of the email to explain why.

For example, writing something along the lines of “Sir, I am including you on this email to Robert so that you are aware that the marketing copy will be two days late.”

Otherwise, inform your employees that they can cc you so you have the emails for your records, but that you will not be reading the emails.

Answer Fully

When there have been 10 or more replies to an original question, a person who opens the email chain later in the game and sees a simple yes or no response will have to spend time scrolling and reading.

To prevent this, simply ask everyone to provide full answers to questions.

If the original email asked everyone what date and time works for a meeting, it is more helpful to read “I prefer the meeting to take place on Tuesday after lunch,” then for a simple answer that says “Wed. at 9am.”

These simple updates to the way you and your teammates write emails can save you valuable time to focus on different tasks.

Many Thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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