Posts Tagged ‘wasted time’

Now Hiring: Email Organizer, Reader, and Answerer!

Okay, so obviously this is not a posting for a new position.  In fact, the first thing I want to do is wish everyone a very happy and profitable May and thank you to everyone who stops by to read through our blog!  Your support is much appreciated.  Please let us know, via the “Contact Us” if there are any topics in specific that you would like to see discussed here.  The more ideas that we get the more blogs that we will post here!

So what is this particular edition about?  Let’s start with asking a few questions: 1. How many emails do you get every day?, 2. How many of those emails are value adding; that is how many have a major impact on what you do in your business?, 3. How many emails are you, your leadership team, and the rest of your organization sending every day?, and last 4. How many of those emails are value adding and necessary to the successful completion of the recipients jobs?  These are some very important questions that everyone in every organization needs to ask themselves.  In most cases better than 60-75% of emails that people get are absolutely information scrap.  Not to mention the time that it takes away from the important, value adding activities that help your business run, grow, and thrive!

Think for just a moment about how long it takes to click on an email, skim through it, make the determination if it’s important, and either file it somewhere else for later reading, leave it alone in the inbox, or delete it.  Let’s make an assumption and say it takes about 15 seconds each time (the truth is probably closer to 30 seconds, but we will be kind here).  Now, how many times per day do you do this process?  20?  30?  50?  It’s going to be different for everyone, but let’s again be a bit conservative and say 30 times a day.  30 X 15 = 450 seconds = 7.5 minutes/day  Doesn’t seem like very much, right?  Let’s multiply that by 5, so we end up with 7.5 minutes X 5 days = 37.5 minutes/week.  Let’s take that even a step further and multiply that by 4 to get a monthly estimate, so 4 weeks X 37.5 minutes/week = 150 minutes/month = 2.5 hours/month.  Two-and-a-half hours per month spent on just glancing at unnecessary email communication!  That’s more than 3 work days every year wasted per person.  What could you do with 3 more days every year?

Internal communications infrastructures are often one of the most neglected systems.  In my experience there are many different performance issues that can be attributed to a poor communication system and supporting infrastructure in an organization.  Think of your own organization for a moment.  Is communication provided just-in-time to the appropriate sources in order to facilitate the successful execution and completion of their job(s)?  Or have you and your organization fallen victim to the misleading belief that EVERYTHING should be communicated to EVERYONE?  While it is important to provide transparency in an organization, that does not mean a deluge of information on a daily basis to everyone.

What happens when you constantly send information in the “blanket” form, is that people become numb to it.  It is information overload, and therefore becomes “information scrap”.  The same is true if you try to turn information in to a training class.  Then it becomes not only information scrap, but also “training scrap”.  Take the time to find out what information that people need to do their jobs successfully, and ensure that they are getting that information in the most effective and efficient way.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It’s important to make other information that employees may WANT available elsewhere, and to maintain that information regularly.  This should be internally and externally available. 

I encourage you to take a look at your organization, and think about how much more could be getting done by everyone, including you, if the communications infrastructure were stronger.  If you can’t change it, then I suggest hiring a new “Email Organizer, Reader, and Answerer!”