- First of all, unless you're so awash with self-importance that people only exist when you want them to, you pretty much have to. It's your job.
- But according to Grant, "Your brain is not just sitting there waiting to be picked. You should not feel obliged to respond to strangers asking you to share their content on social media, introduce them to your more famous colleagues, spend hours advising them on something they’ve created or 'jump on a call this afternoon.'"
- What about rude emails? Just say no to answering them. If for some reason you have to respond, be as polite and clipped as possible--and save the email exchange in case you need it later.
- Some colleagues won't answer emails, and that's their prerogative. If I'm scheduling a meeting and they don't respond, keeping the original meeting time is mine. But what about people who ignore emails and then demand that you accommodate the request they couldn't be bothered to convey before? Just say "hell, no."
- What about emails sent after hours? Me: "You can shoot all the emails you want at me after 5 p.m. on Friday, if that's what your heart desires, but to me they're just silent snowflakes drifting down to settle into my inbox snowbank until 7 a.m. on Monday." Group emails sent on a weekend seem to devolve into a snowstorm, if you catch my drift (see what I did there?), and answering just draws you into the thick of it.
- Grant: "Remember that a short reply is kinder and more professional than none at all."
- Grant: "If it’s not an emergency, no one should expect you to respond right away. Spending hours a day answering emails can stand in the way of getting things done." Me: no kidding.
- Also, limit the number of times you apologize. Seriously.
*You would think that the NYTimes would be in a complete shame spiral at even the thought of the word email, given that their blame-heavy "both sides" reporting on you-know-who's emails (along with Putin) handed the election to our current president, who just declared a national emergency to please his base.