When you receive almost 150 work emails every day, your inbox can quickly become the bain of your existence.
That suffering increases exponentially when you’re the leader of a company.
So how do top CEOs like Bill Gates and Tim Cook manage their overwhelming inbox flux?
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
Huffington has three simple rules for email:
- No emails for half an hour before bed
- No rushing to emails as soon as she wakes
- No emails while she is with her children
'The last time my mother got angry with me before she died was when she saw me reading my email and talking to my children at the same time,' Huffington wrote in her book, 'Thrive.' '... being connected in a shallow way to the entire world can prevent us from being deeply connected to those closest to us -- including ourselves.'
The CEO who wakes up at 3:45 a.m. each day said during an interview with ABC that he receives somewhere between 700 and 800 emails a day.
'And I read the majority of those ... Every day, every day. I'm a workaholic.'
The beauty-sample subscription service cofounder told Lifehacker that insisting people on the team indicate when they need a response in all emails is one of her best time-saving tricks.
'It makes prioritisation so much faster,' she said.
In a fascinating Quora thread about CEO email habits, Michael Chen, a responder who once met Hsieh, wrote that the Zappos CEO told him he had a team of four or five full-time email handlers.
'Fun fact, I think their official titles are Email Ninja,' Chen said.
Gates told 'Today' in 2013 that he only received between 40 and 50 emails a day.
'So you process some, and get back to others at night. You make sure if you put something off you get back to it later,' he explained.
Goldin considers her morning a critical part of her day and devotes the wee hours of the morning to checking her email and schedule.
She says she heads straight to her inbox at 5:30 a.m. because 'doing this gives me a clear understanding of what the next 12 hours are going to look like and what my priorities are once I get to the office.'
When overwhelmed with his inbox, Holmes likes to 'declare inbox bankruptcy' and delete everything so he can start fresh.
He recommends only doing this once every few years, and practitioners should add a disclaimer message to their email signature after deleting unread mails. Something like, 'Sorry if I didn't get back to your last email. To become a better communicator in 2015, I've recently declared email bankruptcy,' he advises.
In his book 'How Google Works,' the former Google CEO wrote, 'Most of the best -- and busiest -- people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone.'
Even if the answer is a simple 'got it,' Schmidt says being responsive establishes a positive communication loop and a culture focused on merit.
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