Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Email slavery

It seems I have become an EmailSlave. The first half of the day is spent in just answering to emails. There are so many emails where I am copied but I need not be. There are many emails  where its a 1-2 page email and somewhere down someone says @KP please answer this.  So it seems daily my work schedule is:
  1. Signin to newrelic and check anomalies for 15 min. 
  2. Check emails related production exception report and yes there are a ton of these report daily. Need a better tool here as this model is not scalable. I need to reduce the incoming data at me to only see relevant data like what newrelic does. May be I need to create a webapp out of these emails.
  3. Check emails for next few minutes before team calls
  4. Do team calls
  5. Then again back to checking emails until a I have taken a best shot at answering everyone waiting for my reply.
  6. Attend team meetings on Tue/Thu

Being an architect and coder at heart I don't feel satisfied at end of the day if there is nothing tangible getting done at the end. Yes I can say hey I replied to 100 emails in a day and did 2 calls but that seems bullshit.  If you read this article http://tomtunguz.com/burnout/ it quotes
""
 I suspect burnout is much more pronounced for information workers - people who deal in bits each day - because unlike a mason or an architect, the product of much of our work isn’t visible. Even the tools we use, virtual to do lists and email, hide the work we’ve completed: tasks checked off and emails sent.
""

I had same problems when I was doing daily calls with the team but I have reduced it a lot by only talking to Team on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and instead of talking to 5 people now I talk to only 2.  I need to find something similar for email.


It seems I am not the only one chasing this dreaded #inboxzero, I reached it once on December 15th but am again back to lots dreaded slavery.

As per this venturebeat article http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/09/sendgrid-launches-iphone-app-so-marketers-can-track-their-email-performance-stats-on-the-move/  "Email’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated — certainly if SendGrid’s efforts are anything to go by.
Last year, we reported that SendGrid had sent out almost as many emails as McDonald’s had sold burgers. A year on from that, SendGrid reports that it has sent more than 300 billion emails since launch, equating to an average of 435 million emails per day, or 15 billion emails per month.
"
Action Items:

  1. I will myself try to think every time I hit reply All to see whether I need all these guys to be on the email or not. 
  2. Try writing short emails, twitter really make it harder for you to write as it allows only 140 chars but you eliminate a lot of garbage when you are constrained to only 140 chars.  check http://www.igzebedze.com/2014/12/business-haiku-efficient-emails/?wpst=1

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