#45 Escaping the Email Vortex of Death via Auto Responder

There’s a trend in our country: We’re busy, but we’re not accomplishing anything. This trend has actually been researched and written about.  Could you have been part of the research? I could have been.

The Email Vortex of Death

My worst enemy in this battle over time is the “Email Vortex of Death.”
Setting: My computer in the Garage Mahal

Me: Oh, I’ll just check this one email.

Me (35 minutes later): What was I checking again?

Email Vortex of Death: Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Me: D*&m You Email Vortex of Death! D*&m You!

My Solution, What’s Yours?

Out of desperation, here is my email auto responder as of today:
It’s official. I’m doing what Sam Horn (www.SamHorn.com) has told me to do: Get sample chapters of my book done.

To help me avoid “the Email vortex of death,” if your email is urgent please email me with URGENT in subject line or contact:

  • Info for press-related matters
  • Anna for getting on my calendar, KKF speaking and social media related matters.
  • Mechi for GW Student and Au Pair teaching-related matters.
  • Achin for case study competition.
  • Anne for awards ceremony, partner, prize and case author features.

I will go through the rest of my emails as quickly as as I can. Thanks.

Last, I give a shout out to my five top mentors Sam Horn, Saranne Rothberg, Ed Barrientos, Amy Milman, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter. I took their advice, now, I’m really really busy!
What tricks do you have for escaping the Email Vortex of Death…Do Tell…Seriously. This is an actual problem. I want to know. Fess up.

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9 thoughts on “#45 Escaping the Email Vortex of Death via Auto Responder

  • Kathy,

    I like the autoresponder idea a lot. Are you finding that people are following directions? I’ve noticed that in the rush and busyness that people feel today they don’t thouroughly read what’s written. I’ve had commnets on my blog where it’s obvious the person had not read the entire post but just the opening paragraph and responded to what they thought I was going to say.

    • No. People are not listening. Part of the problem is that I am replying to things. And part of the reason is that people want what they want. I need to discipline myself to not respond, and expand the responsibilities of my team to get back to folks – even folks I know pretty well – for the sake of getting things done. I just had a talk with Anna (our ops maven) today about it. I am working toward not even checking that email. It is REALLY hard to do during the semester, too, when emails from students come in because I do respond to those.

  • I would LOVE to use @otherinbox but it doesn’t work with OUTLOOK and I’m addicted to it and can’t give it up. I’m looking into Lauren – THANKS.

    I am unsubscribing like a Banchee and only checking emails periodically.

    • Aw sorry. Yes, I am addicted to Outlook too. I also have Google Apps synced with it which allows others to see my contacts and get back to people. Still working on the email thing. Right now, a staffer and I go through “rsvp” emails every Tuesday and Thursday at 3.30. This helps. She can get back to people, because responsiveness is important to me. I used to be in “business to business” And email was easy. Now, the email is exponentially larger for me since starting the Hot Mommas Project. It’s a good problem to have. People are interested!

  • I signed up for a class with that Email Specialist, and I’ve started color coding my Outlook Inbox… I need to be able to set up folders so that each incoming item goes in the right place – like @Otherinbox…. but for OUTLOOK.

    Some tech person somewhere must invent this!

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