Productivity Tip: Write the Best Subject Lines Possible

What was the last book you bought?

Whatever it was, I have a hunch that it had either a distinctive or descriptive title…

book covers

(Catch 22 and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity are my last two and I would highly recommend both of them!)

In essence, every e-mail you send has a title too. it is called a subject line and should describe the contents of that e-mail as clearly and succinctly as possible. Yet often, subject lines end up being the most disregarded aspect of the communication. The Subject line is much like the spine of a book, describing the information it contains. I certainly would never pick up a book that had any of the following titles:

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Productivity Tip: Stop Constantly Checking Your e-mail

How many times do you check your e-mail every day?

If you are like most e-mail users, your e-mail program is set up to check for e-mails every 5-10 minutes. That’s a whopping 48-96 possible interruptions per day respectively! That’s like the mail person giving you letters every few minutes throughout the day. Oh! here’s another one.

Application Bar

This is a bad business and organizational practice.

  1. It is a sure way to get distracted from your tasks at hand.
  2. Answering e-mail throughout the day, instead of at a given time, can cause attention and focus deficits often resulting in poorly thought-out or rushed replies.
  3. Answering e-mail throughout the day will often create a “now or never” reply strategy.
  4. Constant interruptions can take their toll on your attitude and self-esteem.

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