25 thoughts on “The new two-minute rule for email

  1. Pingback: O'Flaherty
  2. I’ve got 1,000 emails on an old account. I’ll need a quick way to delete and delete emails without opening emails.

  3. I’ve got 1,000 emails on an old account. I’ll need a quick way to delete and delete emails without opening emails.

  4. you ask the wrong question. ask “how many conversations do I have?” instead of “how many emails do I get daily?”

    one conversation could equal 2 or 10 emails. gosh, &you wrote a book about it??

  5. you ask the wrong question. ask “how many conversations do I have?” instead of “how many emails do I get daily?”

    one conversation could equal 2 or 10 emails. gosh, &you wrote a book about it??

  6. No, I think this is right on and maybe not a joke after all. It wouldn’t hurt to treat any email that takes more than 2 minutes to reply to as an opportunity to call or visit the person and have the discussion the old-fashioned way. That’s not always possible or practical, but prevents long-winded email threads from missing the point, straying, etc, IMHO.

  7. No, I think this is right on and maybe not a joke after all. It wouldn’t hurt to treat any email that takes more than 2 minutes to reply to as an opportunity to call or visit the person and have the discussion the old-fashioned way. That’s not always possible or practical, but prevents long-winded email threads from missing the point, straying, etc, IMHO.

  8. Robert: Yes, it is a joke, but there’s some shred of truth to it. At least for me personally, I sometimes have a hard time with the “can’t deal with it now” syndrome. Checking email is too convenient, but replying usually isn’t. So you end up with the piles of old email that you should be replying to, in theory. The idea that if you get an email you should take care of necessary replies immediately (or just delete it if you’re going to “leave it for later”) is a valid one.

  9. Robert: Yes, it is a joke, but there’s some shred of truth to it. At least for me personally, I sometimes have a hard time with the “can’t deal with it now” syndrome. Checking email is too convenient, but replying usually isn’t. So you end up with the piles of old email that you should be replying to, in theory. The idea that if you get an email you should take care of necessary replies immediately (or just delete it if you’re going to “leave it for later”) is a valid one.

  10. You dope, Robert. Are you saying you’re only interested in shallow relationships? C’mon. I bet you can apply a bit more subtlety to your incoming messages. It sounds pretty crummy to say “hey, if you have something in depth to say, screw you. I won’t even reply, I’ll just zap your email.” How about:

    “I want to give your email some careful thought, so I’ll reply at more length later (or give you a call). But I wanted you to know I got your email. Thanks!”

    Or if it’s not something you’re interested in or if it’s not someone to whom you have a relationship with, then what about “Thanks for writing me. Unfortunately I don’t have resources to give your email the time and care it deserves.”

    Or, hey, here’s a thought, ignore 10 2-minute trivial replies and use the time to…start a load of laundry *vbg*.

  11. You dope, Robert. Are you saying you’re only interested in shallow relationships? C’mon. I bet you can apply a bit more subtlety to your incoming messages. It sounds pretty crummy to say “hey, if you have something in depth to say, screw you. I won’t even reply, I’ll just zap your email.” How about:

    “I want to give your email some careful thought, so I’ll reply at more length later (or give you a call). But I wanted you to know I got your email. Thanks!”

    Or if it’s not something you’re interested in or if it’s not someone to whom you have a relationship with, then what about “Thanks for writing me. Unfortunately I don’t have resources to give your email the time and care it deserves.”

    Or, hey, here’s a thought, ignore 10 2-minute trivial replies and use the time to…start a load of laundry *vbg*.

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