Categories | David Allen | Getting Things Done | Implementation
In this excerpt from Harvard Business Review, David Allen frames the issue of email and meeting overload by pointing out the bigger issue.
HBR Blog Network / Best Practices
Stop Email Overload
Recognize it’s not really about email
According to Allen, email overload is only a symptom of a larger issue: a lack of clear and effective protocols. If your organization has ambiguous decision-making processes and people don’t get what they need from their colleagues, they’ll flood the system with email and meeting requests. People then get mired down in their backlog, which leads to even more email and meeting requests from frustrated co-workers trying to follow up.
Allen had one client who had an average backlog of 3,000 – 4,000 emails. When he finally cleared and stayed on top of his inbox, both his email traffic and his meeting load went down. His colleagues got the direction and input they needed so they didn’t need to hound him. “Email handled well reduces meetings. And meetings handled well reduce emails,” Allen says.
Although this HBR article was written in 2012, the information and advice are still timely. You can read the full article here.