Chapter 25

Eight E-mail Overload Experiments

by Alexandra Samuel

If you’ve tried all of the basic ways to structure and manage your e-mail, but are still feeling overwhelmed, here are eight road-tested experiments for battling e-mail overload that range from reasonable to radical. Try each one, or a couple at a time—but push yourself to the very limits of your comfort zone, because the tactics that seem most inconceivable may be just the ones that help you discover a new way to work more effectively with e-mail.

If your company’s culture includes expecting instant replies to every message, e-mail your colleagues and regular correspondents to let them know about your experiment. This will help avoid ruffled feathers over some of the more radical ...

Get HBR Guides to Being an Effective Manager Collection (5 Books) (HBR Guide Series) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.