Email logoLingchi is the roughly the word that the Chinese use to describe a form of torture whereby a person is executed by 1000 cuts. Dying the death of a thousand cuts has become a familiar business term that can have any range of meaning.

WAV Group fielded a question from large brokerage firm – “how do we reduce email in our company?” Communication in a company is good, but too much communication as an adverse impact. What follows is my reply.

Calculate the spoilage – If it takes each member of the company an hour to clean out their inbox each day, how many hours of productivity per day is the company losing?

You can only control how many messages you send. Do an exercise where you look at the emails that you send and count the number that you could have not sent. Set a goal for each person to reduce the number of emails sent each day by 20% – 1 in 5 emails sent by professionals is typically the number that is easy to reduce.

Carbon Copy is the devil. Never copy someone unless they are pivotal to the conversation.

We live in a forward world. We see something that we like and we forward it. Consider putting those things into a folder and creating one email per week with your highlights.

Reply with care. Don’t just Reply to All. Reply with a purpose.

Turn off Read Receipt – If you are getting a read notice on all of your emails, you are insane. Turn that off.

Make it o.k. for managers to discourage email use and coach offenders.

Curate Content

  • Expand the range of weekly reporting to bi-weekly or monthly.
  • Develop a corporate bulletin board on your company intranet or send out a company newsletter with notes from around the company.
  • Encourage the use of Facebook for broadcast publishing

Here is a series of articles about Inbox Zero: