By: Jocelyn Rheem
This past January, the Peery Foundation team got out of the office for our semi-annual retreat. It was two intense (but obviously rewarding) days of brainstorming and discussing how we define our role as individuals and as a foundation. One of my roles at the Peery Foundation is to make sure that while we are an efficient, well-oiled machine of a team, we are also taking care of ourselves and not pushing the boundaries of a reason with email response times. We all want to be responsive and available to our grantees and peer funders but there is a balance that we can all strive for.
Below is the list of “best practices” when dealing with email that I shared with the team at the retreat. My hope was to facilitate a more methodical and manageable way to handle the ever growing inbox that we all struggle with. The list is straightforward, and I’m sure everyone utilizes some part of this list in their strategy, but sometimes it helps to have a little reminder.
Start by setting specific times at which you want to check your email-ranking in order of priority
Archive your emails!
Create templates for emails you write over and over again to cut down on time spent writing emails
Clear your inbox with the 4Ds:
Do it right now
Delegate it to the right person
Defer it (i.e. adding it to a to-do list)
I also did a breakdown of our email metrics, which we gather using Gmail Meter, and would like to share some fun facts about the team for you. Did you know that while the rest of the team answers most of their emails within one day, Avani’s average response time is 4 hours?! Most of the team sends more emails on Tuesdays than any other day of the week but Jessamyn sends more emails on Mondays.
Just for fun, can you guess which chart belongs to Dave and which one belongs to Avani?
The blue indicates emails received and the red indicates emails sent.The first chart belongs to Dave and the whole team got a good kick out of joking with Dave over his late night response times. Avani’s chart is second and she responds to most of her emails early in the morning. Who knew?!