May 13, 2016
Email Lessons from Highly Successful People #5 - Get it off your plate like Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman and ex-CEO of Google
The previous post in this series discussed how to put email on the backburner like Randi Zuckerberg who refuses to let email pressure her into decisions or run her daily schedule. This post shows you how to quickly clean out your mailbox and get email out of the way.
Lesson #5: Get It Off Your Plate
Always thought it was more productive to set your email aside for a scheduled time of reading and responding? Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman and ex-CEO of Google, begs to differ. He believes in responding quickly to emails and getting them out of his way.
In his book "How Google Works," he shares nine useful email tips he thinks define the most effective people. And this is his No.1 tip:
"Respond quickly: There are people who can be relied upon to respond promptly to emails, and those who can't. Strive to be one of the former. Most of the best — and busiest — people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone."
And being one of the best and busiest, he would know.
We aren't advocating that you respond to every email as and when it comes into your mailbox. But it would be productive to take a look and figure out just how much time it will take you to respond and get it out of your way. If all that is required to clean your plate is a 30-second response, we say go for it.
In the event of the email requiring a longer response, it is good business etiquette to send a quick reply, that lets the sender know you have received the email and will respond shortly.