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The Results Curve: How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time

Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

9 Rules for Emailing by Google's Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg (TIME, 9/24/14); summary + commentary by Melissa Sweat, Online Community Manager

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 04:44 PM

Heard about our summary+commentary (s+c*d) format? Learn more!

Summary

Rules for handling email at work

Last week, Google Executive Chairman and past CEO Eric Schmidt and former Senior VP of Products Jonathon Rosenberg released their new book, How Google Works. In it, they give a robust, inside look at the company’s culture, from talent to innovation to how to deal with disruptions. Sharing management and business insights at both the macro and micro levels, the book offers a rare “how to” into Google’s success.

At the day-to-day micro level, Schmidt and Rosenberg have specific rules for email and how to avoid the “foreboding” email often causes. They’ve shared these in a recent TIME article, 9 Rules For Emailing From Google Exec Eric Schmidt. A few, include:

  • Respond as quickly as possible.

  • Constantly clean out your inbox.

  • Make following up easy with a label.

  • Email should be handled in “Last In First Out” (LIFO) order.

Commentary

The article offers great email advice, notably on cleaning out your inbox and labeling. “Inbox zero” is possible. People-OnTheGo has a similar system of categorizing emails as “Today,” “Tomorrow,” “Waiting For” (and you can handle easy items right away). We differ about responding quickly. Do be quick and brief, but don’t have email up all the time and check it constantly. This greatly decreases focus and productivity.

Discussion

How about you? Do you handle email with your own unique system? Are you struggling on a daily basis with email or distraction? Do you agree or disagree with the ways to manage email suggested here? Please share your thoughts in the section below, or tweet us @pierrekhawand.

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Topics: time management tips, productivity, information overload, email management