It’s been about five weeks since I set off on my goal to cut out internal email and it looks like I’ve settled in to a 90% reduction in the emails I send out.
In my new routine I check my mail shortly after I get to my desk and make a list of the people I need to reply to using iOS Reminders. Then I get out of my chair and go talk to those people. There’s no particualr need to use Reminders–a piece of paper would do equally well for a checklist. But the app gives me some stats which tell me I’ve had 84 such face-to-face chats since the beginning of January and I have 11 on deck for today and tomorrow. So, let’s call it five hallway chats a day.
It might be more efficient to hit “reply” on these emails, but it’s no where near as enjoyable. Actually, I think we see a false efficiency in throwing emails back and forth. That was the whole reason for trying to cut out internal email in the first place. Sure, we can close off a particular issue with a single reply. But I’m not sure that does much for building capacity in the overall system. Indeed, I think it’s counterproductive. I’m banking on the idea that more face-to-face time builds more trust which in turn fosters professionalism. (see The Perfect Communications App)