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The Email Time Crunch November 1, 2005 PowerPoint Presentation
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The Email Time Crunch November 1, 2005

The Email Time Crunch November 1, 2005

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The Email Time Crunch November 1, 2005

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  1. The Email Time CrunchNovember 1, 2005 Do you control Outlook? Or does it control you?

  2. Email: Tool, or Curse?

  3. Agenda • Survey Results • Why we care • Getting Things Done • Suggestions • Update on etiquette • Q&A

  4. Survey Results • Monday, 10/24, at 10:44AM • 236 messages sent • Every Perimeter account with an email (except training) • Including the volunteers who have agreed to conform to staff responsiveness guidelines • Can you guess the response?

  5. Email Survey Response Rate • 36 responses within 30 minutes. • 59 at the end of an hour • 121 within 5 hours (over half!) 236 messages sent

  6. Email Survey Response Rate 236 messages sent • 133 responses at the 24 hour mark • 147 by the 48 hour mark (62%)

  7. Email Survey Response Rate • After 48 hours, not much else happened • As of 10/31 (1 week), 158 of 236 = 67%

  8. Care to know WHO responded? (within 48 hours) • DLT • 90% • Department Managers • 70% • School • 64% • Church • 66%

  9. Who Responded? • “Support” • 46% • “Ministry” • 66% * Not any exact science for these numbers

  10. What do these results tell us? • Email doesn't work?-or- • 1/3 of staff are flagrantly choosing to be non-responsive?-or- • People don’t respond to *my* email?-or- • Email is time consuming and people are busy!

  11. More from the survey • Messages in inbox • Ranged from <5 to over 2000! • Average of 141 • New email received each day • Ranged from <5 to over 200 • Total of about 4000 per day (all of us together) • Average of 26 per person • Time to process • Ranged from minutes to over 6 hours/day! • Average of 1.5 hours / day • ~3 minutes/message

  12. As to the “response” header This email is: [ ] actionable [ ] fyi [ ] social Response needed: [ ] yes [ ] up to you [ ] no Time-sensitive: [ ] immediate [ ] soon [ ] none • Very wide range of responses. • Love it (with many exclamations) • NO (with a similar number of exclamations) • Many, many, comments, both ways • And a few rather neutral responses • If you like it, use with discretion

  13. Deeper numbers • >2000 messages received by the organization per normal weekday(another 3000 spam are blocked!) • 3 minutes per message to handle? • Easily 100 total staff hours expected to be consumed. Daily! • Think of the reality of those numbers! • The 2000 doesn’t include internal email

  14. There appears to be a problem! Unless 67% is good enough

  15. Policy • 15.102 - ELECTRONIC MAIL AND VOICEMAIL PROCEDURESEmployees are to return emails within 24 hours.Phone calls received before 4:00 pm are to be returned the same business day. Phone calls received after 4:00 pm are to be returned by the end of the next business day.

  16. Clarification (John Purcell) Our most basic, foundational role as staff members is to serve the people of the church and each other. That is why we have in our Personnel Policy Manual a statement on our responsiveness standard and why we are held accountable to this standard at least annually on our Performance Appraisal. I can't tell you how valued church and staff members feel when someone lives up to this standard and how devalued they feel when someone doesn't. God is glorified when love is expressed through heartfelt service.

  17. How do we reconcile our policy and our survey? • (and our personal experiences) • What do we do? • Is there a problem?

  18. Real people, real problems • Family friend, new to Perimeter • 5 attempts to contact someone at Perimeter • 5 failures to receive response! • Amazingly, she’s still here

  19. Real People, real problems • Do you know a story of a failed response?

  20. What can we do?One approach: • Improve your efficiency • “Work smarter”

  21. Getting Things Done

  22. GTD (Getting Things Done) • Addresses how to manage the things on your list • Does NOT [directly] address how to eliminate items from your list

  23. Excerpts from the GTD concepts • Goal: an empty inbox • For every item, identify the “next” action • Convert mail to tasks and appointments • Categorize to group related items • Views to manage tasks, appointments, and previously random information • Special focus on the TaskPad view

  24. GTD:Use a system (any system!) • Outlook is an adequate system • “no open loops” (don’t trust your memory)

  25. GTD and Outlook • Special add-ins, additional materials, numerous web sites, a whole set of “followers” focus on GTD and Outlook

  26. Personal suggestionsGTD influenced • I have many of the PERFECT answers • (for me) • Unfortunately, you may be different

  27. Set specific times for email • Block out a few “chunks” of time where you focus on email • 30 minutes at start of day, another 30 at the end. Other blocks if you need them • Avoid email all other times • Study: constant attention to email will lower your IQ!

  28. Interruptionshttp://blogs.officezealot.com/marc/archive/2005/07/25/7593.aspxInterruptionshttp://blogs.officezealot.com/marc/archive/2005/07/25/7593.aspx The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state. The problem, (IBM's Dan) Russell said, is that there are only certain types of tasks that humans are good at doing simultaneously. Cooking and talking on the phone go together fine, as does walking and chewing gum (for most people). But try and do three math problems at once, and you are sure to have a problem.

  29. Suggestions for Immediate Actions • For EVERY email received: • Handle Immediately -or- • Delete Immediately -or- • Set a plan for when you will handle (a task or other reminder) • Don’t leave it sitting in you inbox (for later)

  30. Handoff Warning! • Beware of open-ended hand-offs! • If an action belongs to someone else, do a very clean handoff, letting the original requestor know of the handoff

  31. Cut the distractions • Unsubscribe from the stuff you don’t have time for • Compare with newspapers, magazines, TV • Tough choices • If you’re not handling everything now, a choice is already being made

  32. What's acceptable to ignore? • One of the best email management tools: the Delete button! • When the inbox is full, start dumping the “news” items, and other things that aren’t requests • Unless you can right now specify when you will have time • Use inbox rules to help manage items that may be safely deferred

  33. Use Tasks, Appointments • Tasks, with due dates, are powerful • Time on your calendar is a commitment to yourself and others

  34. Master Outlook • Outlook is a good tool • It may not be great, but it’s what we have • It works for thousands (millions?) of others • Consider GTD and the special report for using Outlook

  35. Go for ZERO • Target: an empty inbox each day • An incredible feeling of victory! • Re-take control

  36. What’s working for YOU? • Any great ideas to share?

  37. Other ways to take control • Get the address right the first time (or for sure the second time!) • If you're going to use contacts, then YOU have the responsibility! • “Change the subject” • Get to the point • Edit the responses

  38. Actions and Appointments • Email is a terrible way to manage ToDos • Not much better at handling your calendar • Outlook has reasonable alternatives to each • But you have to use them!

  39. What’s the next action? • Any “take-aways?” • Please record on your My Actions sheet