“How do I deal with email now? I scan the from and subject fields for high payoff messages. People I know who don’t waste my time, or who I have a genuine friendship with. Or descriptive subject lines that help me understand that I should allot a minute or more of my life to opening it and reading it.
A journalist recently complained in a comment on another blog that he sent me multiple emails asking me for an interview, which went unanswered. But an email that he sent later suggesting some drama between AOL and Yahoo was instantly addressed. He was a little angry about that, which I understand. But what he doesn‘t understand is that when I see an email asking for an interview, my brain says â€œthis is not urgent, deal with it this evening,â€ whereas the possible breaking news has to be dealt with right away.”
—TechCruncher Mike Arrington, describing how he prioritizes the communications messages that bombard him.
Susan sez: The important thing to realize here is that many people, not only those as well-known as Mike, are hit with multiple information streams requiring responses–Mike’s post is great in that it explains a somewhat reactive way of functioning that is common when you are time challenged.