A declaration of war on email and Whatsapp – the thieves of my day

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 26 January 2018 7:25 AM CAT

Ping. Ping. Ping. That’s it. I’m done with my constant eye on my email and my messages. I now find myself on over 8 Whatsapp workgroups and the recipient of far too many emails and I’m done! According to Forrester research, employees spend 13% of their time creating and 11% of their time reading emails, documents, and presentations. Forrester estimates that the constant interruptions from email reduce the time spent on an “actual task activity” to a scant 18% of a given workday.

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For a few years now, I’ve been on my collaboration soapbox and as of today, from that soapbox, email and messaging will find themselves in my crosshairs. How on earth did immediate response become a matter of life and death?   


You did know right, that email was never designed for collaboration? One can spend an inordinate amount of time searching through mail trails to find stuff, which is often lost through CCs, BCCs etc.


A Mckinsey report as far back as 2012, noted that executives spent up to ¼ of their day checking mail. Wow, what a blow to creative time, opportunity cost, etc.


As high as 25% to 30% of all time spent on email could be saved if the main channel for business communication in a company was moved over to a social platform. (McKinsey Quarterly, November 2012).


That was six years ago!


My declaration of war will see me taking back my day, my creativity and my productivity. If you don’t get a response from me in seconds, minutes – actually hours, fear not! I have not fallen down the stairs, I am not napping in my chair or quaffing wine across the road at the pub. I am being creative, productive and collaborative. I am sharing what needs sharing in one of the collaboration groups on one of our collaborative platforms.


This is a battle I intend to win outright. Watch this space for more on making 2018 the year collaboration won the war.


Janice Scheckter is a collaboration activist, co-founder and incubator of five digital collaborative ventures, and MD of Indigo New Media.     



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