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More than one-quarter of your working day on e-mail, and some thoughts about that

“Studies have shown that the average employee with Internet access spends about one-fourth of the workday on e-mail – not all of which is work related.” This factoid comes from strategy+business, Winter 2010 at 126. If that is an average, in-house counsel might typically spend even more time on e-mail. If so, perhaps the single biggest boost to productivity would be software, techniques, or disciplines to improve the flow and handling of e-mail.

In line with the importance of e-mail productivity, consider that this blog has accumulated no less than 29 posts about effectiveness and e-mails. The most recent batch followed my second metapost (See my post of Aug. 26, 2009: loss of 24 minutes for each e-mail interruption and IQ diminishment; Aug. 26, 2009: five more tips for e-mail productivity; Dec. 8, 2009: expectations of rapid responses to e-mails; Dec. 14, 2009: four more ideas to improve email productivity; Feb. 8, 2010: law firm CIOs rated e-mail management as top annoyance; March 31, 2010: put a link to a document rather than attach it; June 15, 2010: software to lessen e-mail distractions; June 16, 2010: Internet interruptions; June 21, 2010: 8 suggestions for cc’s on emails; June 25, 2010: compared to instant messaging; June 29, 2010: embedded templates and response buttons in e-mail for litigation hold orders; July 12, 2010: a “quiet time” during a day for no e-mails; July 26, 2010: e-mail before bedtime has the jolt of caffeine; and Oct. 20, 2010: consider the environment before unthinkingly printing emails.).

To those newer items should be added the two previous metaposts (See my post of Nov. 6, 2006: e-mail with 6 references; Aug. 26, 2009: 30 e-mail effectiveness tips with 9 references.).

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