7 Reasons to NOT use e-mail for urgent messages

Reason #7: Limits your control of e-mail

As we saw in last week’s blog, e-mail is the wrong tool to use for urgent messages. Allowing e-mail to be used in this way limits the amount of control you have when handling e-mail.

As a sender, you can’t really rely on e-mail for an urgent message. You can try using it that way and, most of the time, it’ll be fine. But you can’t count on it! As a result, you lose control of the communication process.

But if you don’t rely on e-mail for urgent messages, you can be in control of when you send e-mail. You get to write it when you feel like writing it. And your recipient gets to read it when they feel like reading it. You’re not interrupting or distracting them from other tasks and activities they may be doing (ones that are probably a higher priority than your e-mail).

As recipient, relying on e-mail for urgent communication makes you a slave to the inbox and to the need to check every new e-mail, almost as it arrives, to determine whether it’s urgent or not. Again, it limits your control - you are at the mercy of whoever is sending you e-mail (urgent or not). It also limits your choices on what you will do with any given period of time, time that can so easily be interrupted (and stolen) when you’re worried that a new e-mail might be urgent.

When used as it should be, e-mail really puts both sender and recipient in positions of control. When it is used for urgent messages, both lose control of their e-mail.

So that’s the last in this series of the 7 reasons to NOT use e-mail for urgent messages. Hope you gained some new insights and a determination to get control of e-mail, restoring it to its rightful position as an excellent method of asynchronous communication.

All the best,

Steuart Snooks