Drowning in E-Mail?

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This week I am teaching a free online class that is everyone’s favorite – Outlook Tips and Tricks. It helps people learn to master their e-mail, using incredible features that many advanced users of Outlook don’t know exists. Microsoft is excellent at making software, but they are lousy at handing down institutional knowledge to their workforce, so many of these great features do not get passed down to the new generation of Microsoft employees. I always crack up that whenever I present this class, it is often the Microsoft employees that are the most amazed.

Part of me wants to rethink how I teach this class. I am reading a great book call Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton. Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese culture idea of beauty in simplification and accepting the imperfections of life. It is about being happy and content without the need for overabundance.

I think everyone probably feels that they get an overabundance of e-mail. My class has been focused on the efficient processing of e-mail in terms of time management philosophy. I teach how to utilize the tool (Outlook) to process the overabundance of e-mail. Maybe a better question is how to limit the number of e-mails coming into my inbox in the first place.

Do I need all the news notifications, coupons, alerts from my security cameras that most times are my dog running around, and other non-essential mail? What about corporate e-mail? Tools like TEAMS, Yammer, and SharePoint should help minimize the amount of e-mail being sent. It would be interesting to teach a class that focuses on reducing overall e-mail rather than efficiently processing the crazy amounts we are getting today.

What do you think? Would you be interested in a class about how to cut down the amount coming into your inbox? Let me know in the comments.