The purpose of your job is not email

So why do you spend so much time doing it?

Your job is to lead.  Your job is to dream.  Your job is to cast vision. Your job is to be a change agent.  Your job is to accelerate the mission.  If email helps you do that, then do it.  More likely, email is slowing you down from doing the right things.

I was especially motivated when I learned how to get people to send you less email.

Research shows that for every five emails you receive, three require a response. This means that for every five emails we send, people send back three. I call this the boomerang effect. So if you eliminate just one out of every five outgoing emails, you’ll begin to receive roughly 12% fewer emails.

For the last six months I have tried to apply a few principles that seem to be working well for me.

  • Sending less email so I get less email
  • Separating the checking of my email from responding to email
  • Ending each day with my inbox empty (Processed but not necessarily acted on)

Here are some articles I’ve found helpful and motivating.


6 thoughts on “The purpose of your job is not email

  1. Great post. Understanding the skill of managing email (i.e. inbox at zero) is not taught in our organization a lot. I can’t tell you the amount of people I know burdened with email so much that it takes them away from the true purpose of their job.


  2. Great post! Love simple things that make my life more simple!


  3. I heard today that someone taught their mom to use EOM (mentioned in one of the links above). I love it when people find value like that.


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