Drowning In Email

drowning in emailI am now officially drowning in email and need to stop and write about it before I throw the keyboard against the wall. It is all my fault. As my firm commitment to protecting our planet I insist on everyone communicating with me solely by email. No letters – save the trees. No phone calls – I don’t have time. No fax – are people still seriously using a fax?

When we first started GreenBizCheck we emailed lots of people. We reunited with old contacts and we spread the word that Green Business Is Good Business. Now, finally people are starting to listen. Big companies, universities, industry associations, micro businesses and more are all starting to contact us for more information about how to effectively and efficiently green their business. This is great news as two years of substantial financial and time commitment is starting to pay off. The only downside is that we cannot keep up with communications and must now expand our response times to half a day instead of a few minutes when we first started out.

What have we learned? Email is fast and cheap but often sits unread as business people receive hundreds of messages every day. These emails all require some sort of action which has increased our productivity and volume of communication so much it is often paralyzing. Imagine if we sent as many letters as we now send emails? We would need to build bigger mail boxes and put the postmen on weight-training routines. I have now learned that if someone doesn’t reply, not to take it personally because the sheer volume of email is making it hard for us all to keep up and respond in a timely manner. Perhaps the only thing keeping me from toppling onto my keyboard with exhaustion, is that any email response I receive is a compliment that our communications are worth replying to! The final lesson for me is that each email counts and that if every email I write is relevant and important, just maybe recipients will spot my small line among their hundreds of messages and deem me worthy of a response.

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