The Round-Up: Effective Email and the 2x-Week Breakthrough

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday round-up, but it may be time to resurrect that habit!

My top view-generating post over at BNET this week has been the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Emailers.” Email is one of those universal complaints of modern white-collar life. If you have a certain type of information-intensive job, email can literally consume your work hours. Dealing with it is partly a matter of triage, much as doctors must do in an ER, but it’s important to remember that the stakes aren’t actually as high as in an ER for much of it. So you also have to play offense. Fill your work hours with things that you (and your organization) deem important. Email can fill in around the edges of that. It will always be there. Another key realization, if you’re in a management role (the BNET audience) is that you don’t have to be cc-ed on everything. Asking to be kept “in the loop” is a recipe for inbox overload. Set clear goals for your employees. Hire people who will execute against those goals without micromanagement. If you don’t have such a team, make it a top priority to get a new team. Because that’s a bigger problem than your inbox.

Another high view-generating post is “The Twice-a-Week Breakthrough.” I’ve blogged about this recently here, too, but the idea is that you do not have to do something every day to do it regularly. People often get caught up in the idea that they “can’t” do something because it doesn’t work every day. They don’t want to get up every morning at 5:45AM to exercise, they can’t work on a novel every night after the kids go to bed, they can’t use lunch hours to network every day. OK, fine. But can you do it twice a week? In the case of exercise, if you can do something active on Saturdays and Sundays, and then fit in short workouts twice during the week, you’re already exercising on “most” days of the week — which is loads better than most folks are doing. If you want to resurrect a creative practice (scrap-booking, knitting, etc.) you don’t have to give up TV every night, but can you turn it off for one show on Tuesday and one on Thursday? All of a sudden, time opens up.

I am always looking for BNET fodder, so if you have ideas, please send them along!


One thought on “The Round-Up: Effective Email and the 2x-Week Breakthrough

  1. I love the wide range of viewpoints available in cyberspace. While you are extolling the virtues of doing something twice a week, Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Project (who I believe you introduced me to via your 168 hours blog), is talking about doing something every day so you don’t have to decide if you’re going to do it or not. I can see the advantages of both of these approaches and love having both of these ideas in my arsenal of ways to get things that are important to me into my schedule. There is something for everyone on the web, and each of us can find ideas that resonate with us. Gotta love it!

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