The amount of data today’s society produces is absolutely astonishing. Every day, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created, which is only accelerating with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). What’s more, 90 per cent of the data in the world that exists today was generated in the last two years alone.
In terms of electronic communication, 156 million emails are sent every minute, of which 66 per cent is spam. When you throw phone calls, text messages, social media notifications into the mix, its easy to get completely overwhelmed when trying to manage your email inbox at school.
Therefore, a lot can be said for implementing some sort of protocol, which not only helps you keep on top of sending and receiving mail, but also allows you to respond to urgent messages in a prompt and professional manner.
Think before sending an email
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need to send this email? Several conversations start with “did you get my email?”, so there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to speak to the recipient that same day anyway.
- Do I *have to* send this now? Doing things in advance is often advantageous, but you may be creating unnecessary clutter in your recipient’s inbox.
- Can I resolve this issue by waiting and asking the person face-to-face? The conversation contained within a long and arduous email string could take a couple of minutes to resolve in real life.
- Does every single member of staff need to read it? Think twice before sending to all staff.
Establish an email window
Another option is to establish an ‘email window,’ which several schools have adopted with great success. Possible rules include:
- No emails should be sent between the hours of 7PM and 7AM from Mon – Thurs.
- No emails should be sent after 5pm on a Friday.
- No emails should be sent during holiday periods
- All emails should be sent during term time.
Always abide by the rules
Several teachers will find it difficult to work inside of an email window. However, it says nothing about composing an email within the window and simply sending it at a more appropriate time. This can be achieved by saving it as a draft or setting up a ‘delay – send’ command.
This will also give the individual more opportunity to carefully consider the subject and content of their email, and whether it is appropriate to send or not.
Changing the culture of communication
Even if you create a list of rules and regulations for email, the most meaningful results will only come about by changing the culture of communication at your school.
After all, continually checking your email inbox could mean you miss out on some vital moments in the classroom, which students won’t appreciate.
On top of that, you will get a step closer to establishing a healthy work-life balance, both of which are increasingly dominated by constantly connected, digital technology. Kids may be obsessed with their smartphones or tablets, but that doesn’t mean to say you should be too.