Are you a Barry?

In this edition, Nancy (one of the Directors of Greenfields) compares two methods of managing our ever increasing email inbox with different results.

I remember at a previous engagement, many years ago, I was trying to organise an important meeting with a middle manager with no success.  He would never respond to my emails, meeting requests, or phone messages and was often away from his desk.

I was told by colleagues not to take it personally because ‘Barry’, (not his real name) uses a strategy to manage his workload centred on an article that advised – ‘if you don’t respond to emails or phone calls, people eventually sort out the problem for themselves.’

On the other side of the spectrum, I recently met a highly organised successful C-Suite manager who reads and responds to every email he receives and promptly files them in a logical order. He shamed me when he saw I had over a thousand emails in my inbox, with a number of them marked as unread.

In today’s fast world of change, an overloaded inbox can cause one to become overwhelmed and mentally cluttered. There has to be a middle ground with managing your workload and specifically your email inbox. So I looked into some quick tips on sorting out my email inbox to be more like C-Suite manager and less like Barry:

If you are like me and have a backlog of emails to sort through, allocate 15 minutes a day to clear your inbox down to a manageable level.

As for Barry… people did manage to figure out the problem for themselves. That problem was Barry… and his services were no longer required.


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