Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Thursday, February 22, 2007
To: My Direct Reports:

I'm seeking your help.

My incoming e-mail has ballooned out of all control.

For example, my morning has been consumed by reviewing compensation data, proposals, policies, staffing models, evaluations, presentations, in addition to multiple versions of e-mail conversations. This morning alone I have received the equivalent of 72 pages of documents to review.

By everyone sending me multiple documents by e-mail I have become chained to my computer. It has become an inefficient way for me to respond to your requests and feedback on projects, tasks, proposals, etc. Let alone walk around your various departments, talk to staff members, and see how things are going on a daily basis.

Please : Do not send me any e-mail with multiple attachments, or any e-mail that is longer than three paragraphs.

If something requires my signature or approval, copy my assistant on the email, and she'll print it out for my signature / comments.

When it becomes longer than that, it requires discussion. You each have individual times to meet with me every month, as well as twice a week at open office hours, or any time if the issue is urgent. I am making every effort to be more accessible for meetings with you - please use that time to the best advantage for both of us. If there is a question that will require more than a quick answer and you can’t wait for a meeting, please give me a call.

I request you assist me in stopping this madness. Thank you.

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:03 PM  
5 Editorial Opinions:
  • At February 23, 2007, Blogger tfg said…

    This is brilliant. At work, we were just discussing how 50% of internal e-mail is actually unnecessary.

  • At February 23, 2007, Blogger anonymouscoworker said…

    I hope you actually sent this.

  • At February 23, 2007, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    ACW: You betchya I actually sent this. And you know what? Yesterday, I went to meetings for 2 hours and returned to 113 emails. That's when I sent the note.

    This morning, I had meetings from 9:00 - 11:30 straight and came back to 6 emails.

    So far, so good.

  • At February 23, 2007, Blogger tfg said…

    113?? I sincerely hope that they haven't saddled you with a Blackberry.

  • At February 23, 2007, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    No - but it's almost worse. We have "vocera". A talking stick that hangs around your neck and allows immediate communication ala a Star Trek communicator, anywhere on campus, by just saying a person's name.

    Also, I receive between 25-30 daily emails that are "push feeds" for broadcast emails like: bed census, clinic census, accounts receivable, surgery postings, schedules changes, Grand Rounds, etc... Just chatter.

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