Do not confuse cause and symptom
The claim, eMails are one of the main causes of stress and overwork, and the highest level of agreement is found among professionals at every hierarchical level. To right? The cause and symptom are confused here: eMails are not a cause of stress, but merely a - still practical - instrument.
A demonization of eMailIt would be comparable to a doctor attaching to the scalpel or a construction worker who shovels responsibility for his overburden. Who among the supposed eMailFlood, should take effective countermeasures. This method describes in a comprehensible way how the inbox can be systematically emptied. It represents a pragmatic and quick-to-use method for permanently achieving this eMailTo reduce revenues.
Structured and understandable eMails writes
But not just the sheer amount of eMails burdened managers and employees alike, but often also their poor quality. Some write extravagantly, the others far too short. Often, any structure is missing. The subject line remains empty or meaningless. Important information is concealed, but irrelevant details in epic width described.
In short, hardly anyone knows how to structure and understand eMails writes. But that's just a rather superficial explanation for the "eMailAnother - even more important - reason lies with those affected themselves: Often a high inbox signalizes namely lack of leadership and organizational ability or lack of confidence DEICH method described below, especially developed for managers.
structured eMail Write - in 5 steps to the DEICH method
Here is the right, structured way of dealing with eMailIt's not rocket science but something that can be learned in five easy steps. These are as follows:
- The first step is to learn how to use your eMailSystematically analyze incoming mail to identify the main culprits.
- After that, you will get to know the most important rules that you have when working on new ones eMails should apply.
- The third step deals with a particularly annoying category of eMails - with informational messages.
- Afterwards tips will be given, how you eMails can write faster and more structured.
- The ending is an indication of how the inbox can be quickly reduced after a long absence.
Since it would be beyond the scope of this article to explain all the steps in detail, below I have picked out the two most important ones for you: Analyzing and categorizing eMails.
incoming eMails systematic analysis
The first step of the DEICH method is to expose the most common "troublemakers". First, set a time period for which you want yours eMailWant to analyze the input. From experience, it is sufficient if you look at the mails of the past four to six weeks.
It's about the question: who writes you? Make a list and write down the names of the people or departments you provide eMails have sent. Capture every e-mail you received from a specific person / department with a dash. You'll probably find - according to the Pareto principle - that roughly 20 to 30 percent of senders are about 70 to 80 percent of yours eMailCause incomes.
Sometimes - depending on the position or task - it's not individual senders, but certain topics that are above average eMailGenerate traffic. Here you can use the same method to circle the "top topics". It may also be useful for you to create two lists - a sender list and a list of topics. The parallel view of both lists then shows who or what your "problem children" are.
Analyze these problems in the next step:
- Why do they write to you?
- What kind are they eMails?
- Is it sooner? eMailAccording to the motto "I sold our XYZ model to customer ABC and just wanted to tell you that so you know how successful I am"?
- Or is it about (after) questioning mails that require a specific action / response from you, for example: "Which customers should we invite to our Innovation Days?"
- A third category is reminiscent mails, for example, "Have you had the opportunity to look at the sales plan for the South region?"
Behind each of the mentioned types of eMails are mostly failures on your side. Specifically, this can be:
- The employees have too few competences or powers.
- They have not sufficiently informed their employees about their tasks.
- They have not described processes or responsibilities to employees clearly enough.
- The employees receive too little recognition.
- The employees are encouraged to report on their activities on a permanent basis.
- The employees do not get one Feedback when you can expect an answer.
In a nutshell: before anyone else is blamed for the duration of the inbox, one should critically look into the mirror and ask oneself:
- Are the briefings I give detailed and meaningful enough?
- Have I described the processes in my area understandably and in detail?
- Do I give my employees the freedom and skills they need to complete their tasks independently?
- Do I sometimes express a concrete praise?
- Am I so well organized that my staff can rest assured that I will answer their requests reliably - even if it takes longer?
A practical example
A lecturer analyzed a list with eMails that senders send to him within a seven-week period. He found out that most of the incoming mail came from his students. Here, again, there was one topic that moved the budding academics: formal questions about the seminar papers that had to be prepared.
As a result, the lecturer made the information he normally distributes at the beginning of the semester much more detailed, taking into account all the questions he had been asked in the past before by e-mail. The number of e-mails with questions about the design of seminar papers fell significantly. Already by this one measure his personal reduced eMailProceeds significantly!
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