Julie & Jenny, both very active and in leadership roles at their company and both having to deal with loads of e-mail messages constantly pouring into their inboxes, get together regularly not just to have friendly chats, but for something more drastic which they refer to as an e-mail "party"! Basically it is a get-together that is focused on processing their e-mail messages, however after creating the right atmosphere to make this a fun activity. "Fun?" You might ask. Well, keep on reading.
"The party usually starts with venting" said Julie, and sometimes it might involve some wine but it certainly has to involve chocolate, she indicated later. "E-mail is a suffocating activity " she added, so doing it alone may not exactly be motivating or even possible, however doing this with a friend while enjoying some treats and nice exchanges seems to turn this activity into one that is digestible or even enjoyable!
The e-mail party seems to involve these main ingredients
- Companionship: Having someone with you. Creating the feeling of togetherness. You are not alone in this!
- Conversation: It is not just about being together, but also sharing observations, insights, and even "venting" as Julie put it.
- Immediate gratification: Well, let us admit it, the wine and chocolate seem to help, or whatever makes you comfortable and willing to undertake the challenge.
- Focus: It sounds contradictory to be having conversations and rewards and yet be mentioning focus. However, the e-mail party does have one core purpose, and that is going through and processing e-mail. The rest is designed to help us stay focused on this purpose.
- Clear destination: The goal is to have an empty inbox and feel good about it. Not to mention stay on top of things, give our team the answers they need, and help move important issues forward.
What an innovative way to turn a task that can be challenging or mundane into something to look forward to and enjoy! Maybe it is time you try it. Stop looking at these hundreds of messages in your inbox and dwelling about them and have a party!
Join us at the next group e-mail party: Join the "Accomplishing More With Less" group on Facebook and stay tuned to receive the announcement!