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Over at Harvard Business Review, Alexandra Samuel declares a vendetta against email. Specifically, she makes a few very salient points:

“The better I get at filtering and managing my email, the more convinced I am that email overload may be an intractable problem.”

Why is that?

“If you’re getting 10 emails a day, that seems like a manageable volume. What if you’re getting 100? Many of us can, and do, stay on top of that many emails. What if it’s 500? What if it’s 5,000? At some point, the number gets Too Big For One Person.”

What caused this?

“email has shifted the costs of communication from the sender (who formerly had to go to the trouble of finding pen, paper and a stamp) to the recipient (who now has to spend time parsing all manner of ill-thought-out, hard-to-comprehend messages). The expectation that every message gets an answer dates from that previous era: the era when a correspondent had gone to some trouble, enough to warrant a response. By carrying it forward, into an era when it’s the recipient and not the sender who bears the burden, we’ve condemned ourselves to a life of email servitude.”

Wow, email servitude. I know some people who are doing time on that penal colony, including myself some days. So what do you do?

“with email volume rising to meet, and then exceed capacity (it’s a good rule of life: volume always rises to exceed capacity), it’s time for us to revisit the social convention that all answerable email deserves an answer. Let me now suggest, rather indelicately, an alternative: Declare a vendetta on mandatory email. Put the cost of communication back on the sender.”

For those of you who believe this would be career suicide, she offers the following:

“On the other hand, are we not killing ourselves now, daily, to get through our email? We are already sacrificing our personal lives, our professional goals, and even our health (for who hasn’t sacrificed sleep to get through that inbox backlog?) all because Thou Shalt Reply To Every Email.”

So, my thought on this is that you will be happier if you are managing your inbox, instead of letting your inbox manage you.

Dave Kaisar trained at the Coaches Training Institute and certified by the International Coaching Federation. He has worked with dozens of clients to achieve remarkable results, including revenue growth, clearer strategic direction, enhanced leadership, and promotions to positions of greater responsibility. Dave has 20 years of corporate and academic experience and has worked in Finance, Marketing and Project Management. He holds a Doctorate in Linguistics from the University of Chicago, a Masters in Russian from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelors in Finance from Georgetown University. His website is Dark Matter Consulting

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.