4 Reasons to Reduce Emails to Have Better Meetings

Posted on February 2, 2015

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that emails cause an increase in stress. But did you also know that frequent checking of emails even chips away on our IQ? The volumes of email we’re handling on a daily basis affect us even in our meetings, quite simply turning potentially good meetings into bad meetings.

Sending and responding to emails is a daily routine and one that takes up quite a large part of our time. Email is not going away anytime soon. Sure, they do add value in some aspects, but they have drawbacks, and quite a few actually. This is why some companies, such as Google (Inbox) and Mailbox (part of Dropbox), are also giving it a go to help us handle our inbox differently and more effectively.

It’s certainly time to rethink how we use email. In some cases it shouldn’t be used at all. Working with planning and preparing a meeting is such a case. Here are 4 reasons to stay away from email when you’re handling meeting invitations and preparations for your meetings, so that you can have better meetings.

1. The inbox is suffering from information overload

If you’re like most people you send out your meeting invitations via email. Then bear this in mind. People spend just slightly more than 2.6 hours each day reading, deleting, sorting and responding to emails according to a McKinsey study. Furthermore a report from the Radicati Group shows that business users send and receive on average 121 emails a day, and it’s expected to grow to a 140 emails a day by 2018.

The reality is that our inbox has become an open door for anything and everything. Simply put it’s flooded, so why would you want to add to this burden?

2. Finding documents and email attachments is a hassle

It could sometimes prove to be an easier task to find Bigfoot than to find an agenda or supporting materials in an already strained inbox. You might recognize this – you receive an email with a proposed meeting time and agenda. This turns out to be the first of several emails bouncing back and forth in your inbox, containing pre-meeting discussions and new versions of various documents that you need to read up on prior to the meeting. Over time you end up sifting through emails to find the proper attachments to keep up to speed. It’s tiresome and non-productive.

3. Checking email takes its toll on your concentration and IQ

An average employee checks email 36 times and hour! On top of that, according to research it takes an average of a mind-boggling 16 minutes each time we’re distracted with an email before being fully concentrated again on the task at hand. But that’s not all. A study by the University of London suggests that workers who frequently check email are subject to a 10-point drop in IQ. It’s the equivalent of missing an entire night’s sleep.

4. It’s problematic to keep people up to date

As you’ve understood by now the inbox can be like quick sand, making your emails and attachments a struggle to keep track of. Not to mention that it could constitute a health hazard to check emails frequently. This means that it’s difficult to keep your co-workers and meeting participants in the loop of changes that’s taking place throughout the course of the meeting planning process. And changes to both agenda and supporting materials could certainly take place more than once before the meeting actually takes place, as we’re working in an ever-changing business landscape.

The Email Alternative

So if email doesn’t really cut it anymore what’s our alternative? Luckily social technologies today allow us to improve communication and collaboration with for instance online team collaboration- or project management tools. When it comes to specifically improving meeting management with meeting planning, execution and follow-up an app such as Mobilimeet helps you out with that.

Mobilimeet takes you out of your inbox and lets you handle your agenda, documents, discussions and more in the app. Everything is kept in one place – structured, organized and easily accessible, whenever and wherever you are. Since we only retain 23% of what we learn after six days, according to Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, it’s good to know where to find things. Right?

The next time you’re about to send out a meeting invitation using email, consider that it could be the first step to eventually having a less productive meeting. So try an alternative approach and sign up for Mobilimeet.

How are you planning and preparing your meetings? Please leave a comment and share your experiences and thoughts.

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