Kill email before email kills you!


Fed up getting all those emails? Even more fed up giving long answers to them? Maybe you should try something new?

A research by management-consulting company McKinsey shows that the average worker spends 28 percent of their workday reading and answering emails. That makes about two and a half hour a day! Or nearly thirteen hours a week!

Is this the most effective use of expensive employees time? Reading and writing long emails to solve problems that could be fixed in second on the phone? Well, of course all problems can’t be solved by phone because decisions and agreements have to be documented in writing. Sure, but here is a trick I found on the internet – where else – that might be helpful to make you more effective:

Write short answers to long emails!

So next time you get a long email asking for some permission, don’t give a long confirmation. Just write: OK! or YES!

Or when you have to ask something or get info on something, don’t write a whole page in your email. Just ask the question, short and efficient. You don’t have to tell them a whole fairytale.

Eliminating all that extra “bla bla bla” information from emails can help you reclaim a large portion of your workday, increase your productivity, and improve your chances of getting a reply.

According to an article in, Boulder, Colo. entrepreneur Andreea Ayers discovered the impact of shortened correspondence when she hired a business coach to help her with her marketing company Launch Grow Joy. At first, she was concerned she had chosen the wrong person after she found this postscript at the bottom of an email:

– To save your time and mine, I’m limiting all my responses to five sentences or less. I thought to properly respond to my questions, she would need to write more than five sentences, says Ayers. But the more they practiced the method, the more it worked. – We spent less time emailing and more time actually implementing the strategies we were discussing.

– Proper email is a balance between politeness and succinctness, says successful serial entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur (Nononina Press, 2013). Less than five sentences is often abrupt and rude, more than five sentences wastes time, he says.