Saturday, August 22, 2009


Tuesday I returned from a ten day (six work day) vacation. We spent four days near Bayfield Wisconsin and the rest of it in Apple Valley (our home town). The time off was needed and appreciated.

I knew my email box would be full when I returned. I was expecting between 1000 and 1500 emails awaiting me. And I was pretty close. After 15 minutes of downloading, I ended up with 1167 emails. Spread throughout the week, it took me a total of 6-8 hours to go through them all. I deleted over 95%.

Last time I checked there are 60 minutes in an hour and 8.5 hours in a normal work day. Being I was out six days, I missed 3060 minutes of work. If my math is right, 1167 emails means I get, on average, a new email every ~3 minutes.

I'm finding that between 3-4 hours of my day is spent checking email. Of that time I would guess that between 30 and 60 minutes is spent reading emails that I could have ignored and been equally effective.

Is this part of doing business in a large behemoth, or will there some day be a more efficient medium of communication?

1 comment:

Scooter said...

Everytime I bother to estimate my email I get about one per 3 minutes as well (20-25/hour). If you come up with a cunning idea for optimizing email across the company, you should pitch it to the execs as something only you can handle and land yourself a new job with a higher salary as "Email Optimization Director".

I suspect you could use a secondary spam filtering product (beyond the enterprise-level one we all have) to teach your inbox which items are corporate "spam". Some sort of Bayesian routine. I started writing one at the end of my stint as a developer with the idea that you could target different categories of email for automatic sorting, but never finished.