Couple the ease of electronic communications with the fact that companies employ fewer secretaries than ever (more than a half-million secretarial jobs have been eliminated in the last decade), and you’re left with a mountain of E-mail. Lest you’re tempted to hope the E-mail explosion is replacing paper communications, though, consider this: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans used 7.1 million tons of paper in 1993. As the century turns, we are using 8.5 million.) Even if you don’t have a secretary to screen incoming mail and even if you like the feeling of being sought out, you can control the amount of mail you receive and respond to.

1. If your organization/office doesn’t have a policy stipulating E-mail use, form a ...

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