Monday, April 29, 2019

What the Most Productive People Know About Email

As summer approaches, many new graduates will begin their careers in a variety of organizations, full of hope and determination about changing the world.

The more seasoned workers sort of smirk at this enthusiasm, knowing it won't take long to break their spirits. In fact, there is one thing guaranteed to bring down these hopeful young people: email.

Hundreds of emails will begin to clog these young worker's lives -- they might be surprised how often that "ding!" signals a new missive. While they may have gotten emails in college or in their training programs, it's nothing compared to the deluge that will hit them once they become full-time workers.

Hence, the smirk by other workers. They know that the young worker's hope and determination to change the world will soon crater as they struggle to keep up with their inbox.

But all is not lost. There is a way for these young workers -- and their smirking colleagues -- to be more productive in the face of the email onslaught. In fact, the most successful people have shown they all have several things in common, including the ability to skillfully handle their messages.

Data from Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of "Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours," finds that the most productive people not only manage their emails by using email filters, they answer critical emails immediately and identify those emails that need to be dealt with but need more time to read (such as those that come with long attachments).

For young workers -- and their colleagues -- the message is clear: Deal with your email effectively if you want to be more productive. Find a system that works for you and you're more likely to have a career that is drive by you instead of your inbox.

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