The Don't Quit Podcast

Write Better Emails by Writing Longer

Everyone knows the most most important resource is time. Especially when we have a full time job, a side hobby, family, and friends all taking a part of it.

One of the most time consuming things we have in our professional lives is emails. Emails are super convenient in receiving and sending them on our schedule. But reality is we usually need to respond to them asap or eventually get overloaded with them.

Inbox zero seems like an unobtainable goal. But the less clutter, the better. That’s why I suggest writing longer emails.

I dislike emails. Emails would just pile up over the week. They just never feel like they end. Granted a lot of these serve a purpose to me, just not when I need them.

The best process I’ve come up with is process elimination email.

First is to identify the goal of every email. Is to have a meeting? Launching a product? Always have a clear goal.

Now think of a process that allows the least amount of emails being sent.
Then tell the recipient how you’re going about less emails.

For an example, let’s say a friend sends you an email.

Do you want to grab coffee sometime soon?

Resist the urge to reply: “okay, what works for you?”

Sure, that message would be quick to write, but it does not outline a clear process that minimizes back and forth messages. Indeed, it is likely consigning you to a long, attention zapping thread.

By here’s how process should go:

Sounds great. I propose we meet at the Starbucks on campus. Below I have listed four dates and times over the next two weeks. If any of these work for you, let me know and I will consider your reply confirmation that the meeting is set. If none of these times work, then call me or text me on my cell (<number>) during one of my upcoming office hours (Tue/Thur from 12:30 to 1:30), when I’m sure to be around, and we’ll find something that works.

Yes, this makes emails longer to write. I get it, not everyone even likes to write. But the amount of time saved by writing this helps tremendously.

No longer do you have to go back and forth to drag out something that can be easily taken care here and now.

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