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Use emails, text messages and other message types sparingly!

How can you avoid deluging your co-workers with messages and use the right communication tool wisely? Mara has a few tips for you.

“Morning Julien, how are you?”

“Morning Mara. I’m fine, but a bit annoyed!”

“What could be wrong so early in the morning?”

“Well that’s just it – you’re a real bundle of energy this morning! I’ve received dozens of emails, Skype messages, Spark messages and text messages and all before 8am! On Monday!”

My colleague’s outburst got me thinking.

Not so long ago, emails were our pet hate and we each had our ways of managing them:

  • Using the “recipients” and “CC” wisely

  • Creating filters to automatically sort certain emails

  • Checking emails at specific times of the day and never first thing in the morning

  • And the list goes on

We did everything we could to tame the beast. Emails were criticised, so more user-friendly tools like instant messaging and text messages came along to replace them. But unfortunately, they’ve just made things worse!

Are we too connected? How can we manage all these communication tools? Limiting the tools we use whenever possible is surely the simplest solution. But when that’s not possible, what can you do?

I decided to make my own personal rules for each of these tools: