If I am getting on your nerves, just switch me off

One thing I’ve taken a way from last week’s blog¬†entry is that my online presence is fairly complex. I run three blogs – in two languages, and to three very distinct audiences. I tweet from mainly two Twitter accounts, and keep a presence on a number of LinkedIn groups. Not to mention Facebook. When I hold seminars on social media, I’m often confronted with ‘I don’t have time for all this – I’ve got enough emails to take care of as it is…’. I agree – and yet I don’t. First of all, I have learnt that my social media interactions help me reduce my email traffic – both at work and privately. In order to achieve that, I have deactivated pretty much all email notifications and newsletters on any service. My view is that email as a mode of communication is being pushed back – I’m sure I’ll find an infographic on that – and it is being replaced by more interactive social media channels. I know that pretty much every service you sign up for has the ‘send me updates via email’ setting on ‘yes’ as a default. I think this is unnecessary – I either engage with a service, which I pretty much do in that time on the train, or I don’t. But then I cancel it. I don’t need to know that someone has sent me a message on LinkedIn, because I check LinkedIn every day. In order to stay up-to-date, I follow hundreds of RSS feeds, which do not impact on my email load. What I have learnt is that the cleaner my inbox is, the more I can focus on the tasks it contains. At work, we have a brilliant initiative run by one of our senior academics and a learning technologist – they run something they call ‘tricks of the trade’ – check #rctott, lunchtime sessions which help academics use technology more effectively. I’ve held sessions there on email management, and I tend to parade around my lean inbox at these sessions. And the one piece of advice I want everyone to take away is – if my daily updates annoy you, put me on silent; stop all your alerts, check the service itself rather than getting the pile of 10 updates a day on stuff you are not reading up anyway. It works like magic for me, and I’ve learnt that email does not have to be the bane of my life.

September 17th, 2012 by