Hey everybody, Kate here from Chase’s Production crew. Just like many of you, I use email as a daily communication tool in my job. A flood of incoming emails to address and a long list of outgoing messagesis usually on my daily list of “to dos”. Wrangling this beast of inbound and outbound communication is a necessary evil. As such, I have been working hard at becoming an Email Ninja.
I especially love this article from Tim Ferriss’ blog: 10 Steps to Become an Email Ninja. The art of being an Ninja is a great model — highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. These tips are excellent for helping manage the fire hose of INBOUND messages headed for your inbox. But it is not enough to stop there. Developing your ninja skills for the outbound messages – throwing “ninja stars” [emails] as I call them – will help you be more efficient in your work day. No matter what your profession.
As everyone becomes more and more savvy with regards to managing their inboxes and better at saying no, you must find ways to cut through the noise and get your message across and get them to say yes. It is harder and harder to cut through the chatter, so be disciplined. Simplify if you wish to be heard. Fight fire with fire…
6 Tips for Throwing Ninja Stars with Accuracy:
_use descriptive subject lines. Help the reader quickly identify the purpose of your email. And think ahead, think like a ninja: make it easy to search for your email later.
_what’s the purpose? If it is not totally clear from your subject line, make sure that you make your point and make it fast. Really busy people often decide if an email is important/relevant from the preview window.
_keep it short + concise: People do not have time to sort through a long email. It likely won’t happen. Respect their time and they will have more respect for you. Check out these tips. While this is presented as a way to save time as you triage your inbox, it is also a smart technique to challenge yourself to be concise.
_do you need action? Don’t bury your request. Make it clear what the reader of the email needs to do.
_help them help you. Other ninjas process quickly, so don’t make them work too hard to get you what you need. Do you need a meeting? Propose 3 possible times so they can just pick one and be done. Do you need a form signed? Attach the form. Are you sharing information? Format the email so that it is easy to read and organized so they can find and reference the information they need.
_be nice, polite and grateful. This is just because you should. And you’ll be surprised how often this gets missed. It really goes a long, long way to spend the extra ten seconds to include some short + sweet social graces. Ps + Qs!
Remember – the email ninja is: highly skilled, incredibly efficient, supremely effective and elusive as needed. Oh, and polite.
As a bonus, and since we all love ninjas, here’s a video of a photo shoot we did a few years back featuring…you guessed it: Email Ninjas.