The cinguain approach to email management

I got a kick out of Mike Davidson’s post on handling email overload which I read about first in Jim Fallows blog.  Mike believes he should not have to spend more time responding to an email than the sender spent writing it in the first place.  To address this, Mike has adopted the policy that all his email responses will be five sentences or less.  My observation:  it takes me longer to concisely make a point in five sentences than it does to meander around the point in 25 sentences.  Shorter doesn’t necessarily translate into quicker to write. 

However, I like what I see as Mike’s underlying message — “stop dumping all your problems on me to solve”.  Many years ago, I briefly worked for Steve Ballmer at Microsoft.  His two-word answer to open-ended emails was “See me.”  His experience was that people would seek him out in person only for the most critical items and that 80% of the meetings would never happen.


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