Do you skim through emails without reading them fully? Feel like you can never can catch up on unread or flagged messages? You’re not alone.
I’d like to offer up a few ways to be more productive with your communication and provide some relief from your never-ending inbox.
I know what you’re thinking
Email is the lifeline of your business.
Your team depends on your ability to respond to them.
This is how your clients reach you.
Heck, you already have 18 unread emails and it’s not even 10.00 a.m!
Slow-down. Take a deep breath.
I’m not saying to stop email all together.
However, I do want to point out a few reasons why you should reconsider email as your primary mode of communication.
3 reasons to reconsider
#1 — People Are Overloaded. We are beyond the era of information overload. We need the jaws of life to set us free. Between flooded inboxes and fake news, it’s becoming hard to determine what’s important and what’s not.
#2 — TLDR; Too Long Didn’t Read. People don’t have time to read. They don’t even have time to go grocery shopping (#InstaCart). If you find yourself starting a sentence with “Lastly,….” I can assure you that email wasn’t read.
#3 — F-You email. I’m not mad at email. Just pointing out what science is telling us about the way we read. Our eyes follow text on the screen in the form of the letter F. We start by reading the top line, then scroll down and read halfway through, and swiftly scan to the end of the page like an anchor hitting the bottom of the ocean. All this in form of the letter F.
5 ways to better connect
I’m responsible for client relationships in my role at Skidmore Studio. I’ve learned that forming and fostering connections rarely comes just from email alone. Here are 5 additional suggestions on how you can better connect with the people you work with.
#1 — Pick Up the Phone — Try it. It’s amazing how often you’ll reach the person you need to get ahold of. In order to do this, you’ll need to break the habit of hiding behind the screen. Just remember this: CBE = Call Before Email!
#2 — Send a Text prior to 8.30 a.m — Before the chaos of the day gets going, try sending a text early in the morning. If you need a quick response, you may be able to catch the person during their cup of coffee or morning routine.
#3 — Use a Scheduling Tool — Asking someone for their time can be a game of chess. And finding time that works for both sides can be exhausting. Avoid these moments by using a scheduling tool like Calendly or Doodle to save precious time and energy.
#4 — Send Snail Mail. — Nothing beats getting a handwritten note from someone. There’s mutual gratitude and appreciation exchanged when writing or receiving a piece of mail. It takes time, but well worth the investment.
#5- Touch Their Hand — Okay, not literally. But sort of. Spend time face-to-face with your clients and team. This is how you get to know each other. This is how relationships are built.
Be bold. Break the cycle.
Sending email has become the new norm to our workforce. Step out of your inbox and into a moment of courage to break the cycle of email overload. Your clients and team will thank you.
Mark is on a mission to help professionals, teams, and leaders connect with themselves, each other, and their collective purpose by restoring energy to organizations battling modern life’s non-stop pace and growing sense of disconnection.