Are you inundated with communication? Emails, IMs, meetings, and if it still exists, phone calls. On any given day, I receive 30 emails an hour, averaging 1 every two minutes, a meeting every hour, sometimes every half hour and lately every 15 minutes, lastly a constant flow of IMs. I’m exhausted just writing about it. Maybe your day is not as bad, but I bet it can still be filled with over communication.
This blog post compliments my tagline, "People plus Process plus Technology." All three elements must blend to be successful at anything, manager, project management, educator, builder, everything. We must learn to balance them. I put the elements in order of importance, so don’t let today’s communication technology override the most important element - People.
Here are few of my communication rules:
- Emails – all cc’s do not require my response and may not even get read
- IMs – you really need a response now or used for multi-tasking (listening in a meeting, but not participating)
- I may, or may not, answer based on my role above
- Meetings (Skype or live) – require an agenda to determine priority and/or attendance
- Phone – if someone calls me, it is definitely a priority (and a preference)
Roll all these communication rules into one theme – FOCUS
Only a Super Human can satisfy every communication received, during the day.
Now, a message to management – consolidate information.
- Plan to send out your communication once a day, at a regular time would be best, every morning or end of day even better to cover routine items, like process
- Advise your reports to prioritize their communications
- Assign specific areas of expertise to qualified associate(s) to reduce irrelevant communications to everyone (focus your team)
In the long term, productivity will increase. I promise.