I was reading in the paper at the weekend how James Dyson (the inventor guy/multi-millionaire) only gets about six e mails a day. He has encouraged a philosophy of having face to face meetings with his colleagues and feels that this is a far better way of working. people who work together on the same floor or same building are given notebooks (hard copy not electronic) and told to jot ideas down then go and talk to the person they would normally be e-mailing.
Richard Branson another super successful guy – again minimal e-mails and encourages face to face meetings ….
Multiple e-mails clogging our inboxes are now seen as the death of creativity and consume so much of our time as to be positively caustic to the modern work environment.
Me – well I get six e-mails a minute informing of everything from a lack of toilet rolls to the latest gossip from the water-cooler…if I stop answering and responding to this constant barrage of information I would get so behind that it would be impossible to ever get back up to speed.
This is why I don’t take holidays, this is why I don’t like being off sick…this is probably why I will die from some stress related illness on the day that I retire.
Why do we put ourselves under the pressure that we do? Deadlines, targets, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually …. comparing current performance to the figures which we have challenged ourselves to achieve. This then just creates a scenario where we become like the hamster on its wheel – the faster we go the faster we have to run to keep up with the speed of the wheel.
I have conversations with my accountant and my bank manager about what I’m aiming to achieve in the coming year – but when I listen to myself I just think…. ‘jeez you are so full of sh*t…’ – I’m not actually … ‘planning to push for a % growth in net margin by increasing profitability across the group…’ …. the reality is that what is actually happening…. is that I’m running around like an idiot trying like hell just to meet the same figures as I did last year…and hoping that I can just remain static rather than lose out to my competitors.
How can this ever change?
I’m going with… little steps –
1. No internal e-mails unless absolutely necessary
2. Do not copy everyone in on an e-mail when there is no reason to do so
3. Talk to your colleagues more –
4. Brainstorm more
5. Focus more on current projects and making sure these are done to the highest of standards
6. Worry less about future trends
7. Concentrate on getting your current message clearly focused
I’m thinking that if you get what you do today, done well – then the future will take care of itself.