How Wasteful Email Habits Can Cause a Productivity Drought

Posted by Dermot Crowley on 6th August 2018

The early 2000’s brought the worst drought in recorded history, which in Sydney meant severe water restrictions. We couldn’t wash cars, water the garden, or allow the kids to play in the sprinklers on hot days. Hard as this seemed at the time, it made me change my behaviour around water wastage, and to this day I am much more mindful about how I use it.

Before the drought, I was wasteful with water. Coming from Ireland, I never really considered water as a limited resource and was not particularly mindful about how I used it, or how much I used it. I used it lavishly because it seemed limitless and free.

Last week I was in Singapore meeting with a client whose leadership team reckoned the average number of emails received into their inboxes was 400 per day! That’s huge. How on earth can you stay on top of what’s important if you’re battling that volume of information and noise coming at you daily?

I believe many of us treat email as a limitless resource that can be squandered mindlessly. But while email itself might be free and limitless, the impact it has on our collective productivity is not. For organisations to thrive in the information age, we must become more mindful about the volume of emails we send, the unnecessary noise we generate, and the time that’s wasted as a result.

With a little effort I changed my habits around how I use water, and have never gone back to my old wasteful ways. With a little effort I believe your team could change how they use email, and as a result, create a more productive culture that everyone benefits from.

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