One writer’s perspective.
I get about 200 emails a day. They will bring a mixture of good news, bad news, news that makes me disgruntled, news that brings me great joy, bills, orders for books and interesting articles. It's a great procrastination tool but not necessarily a welcome one. It’s easy to get bogged down. So, for this reason, I don’t look at my emails until after lunch.
· I’ll file all the sent ones for the day before
· I’ll go through the spam filters – to see if anything interesting is lurking and to see what I can permanently delete.
· I’ll spend half an hour going through them – the oldest to the newest looking at anything that is interesting.
· Then I’ll just carry on and only answer the important ones.
· As I work I’ll file or delete.
· I’ll then leave my inbox open on until about 9 p.m. and will deal with anything urgent even after that first sweep.
· I aim to answer emails within 48 hours. I usually manage this.
· I can’t stand emails that start “Gill,”. They rather remind me of when my mother was about to tell me off. Though, she called me “Gillian” then.
· Emails without any form of salutation just sound downright rude. I’m almost minded to say I won’t even look at them. However, it is more reasonable if it’s a reply or a reply to a reply.
· Several emails coming one after another, adding a little more information each time. It’s confusing and somewhat unprofessional. Any email should be as carefully thought out as a letter.
· People who expect an instant response – and then keep nagging when they don’t get it. I refuse to be at the beck and call of my inbox 24/7. If I give in to that, nothing else will be done.
The tyranny of email
If we’re not careful, email can overwhelm us. It is a very useful tool. We should remember that it is there to serve us not rule us.