In the previous issue, we found out how the Subject of an email can help fix the organizational inbox and make emails more effective. But that is not the only way to have more focused emails, let alone fewer emails to begin with.
Most of us treat email as a write-and-send medium. We practically have no delay between writing an email (or replying to one) and sending it. Here’s a better approach that will reduce the number of emails and improve their quality.
Decided to write an email? Great! Write it, by all means. But do you really have to send it right away? Does it require such a level of immediacy? How about writing the email and keeping it as a draft until the end of the day? This simple technique can do wonders for the quality and quantity of the emails you send (and receive).
Just before the end of your working day, open your Drafts folder and review all the emails you haven’t sent. During the day, a lot has happened: you gathered new information, maybe had a few new insights, and most likely, your priorities have changed. Some of these unsent emails could be revised and updated with further information and fresh perspectives (instead of sending an update on a previously sent email). Other emails might seem much less important than in real-time, so you don’t have to send them after all. Whatever the outcome is, the extra time you have to process, prioritize, and refine the emails you write can only improve the quality of your communication and reduce the overall time you spend on less effective threads.