Posted by: kerrywills | July 11, 2014

Classic Workplace Moves: Long eMails

I get between 200 and 300 e-mails each day on top of the full agenda of meetings usually running from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM most days. So I try to be as efficient as possible and multi-task during the meetings. But this is very difficult when e-mails are multiple paragraphs long with links and attachments.  I see so many problems with long e-mails….

  • They are long
  • They don’t get to the point so it is hard to tell salient points
  • It takes up the time of the sender and the reader
  • They are long
  • I cant tell what the person is trying to say
  • It seems like rambling
  • There is an assumption that we want this level of detail
  • They are long




I would strongly suggest a few things…..

  • Figure out what you are trying to say and craft the message around the key points, but keep it under a few sentences
  • I have a ‘scroll rule’ meaning if I have to scroll then the message is too long
  • If you absolutely need to have details list them as an attachment and reference it
  • Have some structure to your e-mail instead of just paragraphs of information – I like to use section headings with a different color (e.g. “Key Points” or “Action Required”)

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