Want to guess how many unread emails sit in the average person’s inbox?
10? 20? 40? MORE?
According to a 2017 study, the actual answer is 199!
As someone who teaches classes on email productivity, I was dismayed but not surprised by this alarming fact. The truth is that email comes so fast and furious that it is easy for the unprepared knowledge worker to be overwhelmed. Yet, is it alright to ignore all those messages and never respond to senders? After all, aren’t they only trying to delegate work onto your already full plate anyway?
In an article for the New York Times, Adam Grant, author of Originals, argues that failing to keep up with your inbox is not only unproductive, but unprofessional as well. He writes:
“Volume isn’t an excuse for not replying. Ignoring email is an act of incivility. ‘I’m too busy to answer your email’ really means ‘Your email is not a priority for me right now.’ That’s a popular justification for neglecting your inbox: It’s full of other people’s priorities. But there’s a growing body of evidence that if you care about being good at your job, your inbox should be a priority.”
Read the rest of the article at the New York Times web site.