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E-mail Bankruptcy

We all suffer from the growing flood of e-mail that clogs up our in-boxes. The question is what to do about it. A Sunday New York Times article entitled, “The Daily Struggle to Avoid Burial by E-Mail,” reported that e-mail has become the bane of many professional lives. Exasperated executives are resorting to declaring e-mail bankruptcy; purging the in-box and beginning afresh, only to have the digital piles build up yet again. This obviously begs the question of what critical communication wasn’t read or dealt with. I raise this topic because the article hit a chord that I believe most executives can relate to. Before e-mail, we received mail once, maybe twice a day (remember paper mail?). We therefore had the time to pace our response to correspondence in a more reflective and less frenetic manner. The article suggested that we treat e-mails the same way: check in once or twice a day and manage it the old-fashioned way.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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