The Hamster Revolution | Mike Song

Summary of: The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You
By: Mike Song


Get ready to revolutionize your relationship with email and information management with ‘The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You’ by Mike Song. This book summary offers a wealth of actionable insights and powerful strategies to help you take control of your overflowing inbox, streamline communication, and maximize productivity. Discover time-saving techniques such as the ABC email structure, COTA filing system, email reduction strategies and the benefits of information coaching. Embrace these valuable tools to find balance, increase efficiency, and achieve your personal and professional goals.

Avoiding eMail Overload

Learn to manage work emails and achieve personal goals

Work-related e-mail has taken over people’s lives, invading their precious time outside the office. Although technology has made it possible to be connected to clients through email, it has also led to a barrage of messages that can eat into one’s personal time. According to the book, a typical office worker sends and receives about 75 messages a day, which adds up to 18,000 messages a year excluding messages responded to outside of work hours. This means people spend at least one-third of their time reading, responding, and sorting emails.
However, the book suggests that people can manage e-mail overload by adopting a few strategies. First, write down two goals, a personal and professional one, to motivate yourself. You can start by putting aside time to complete these goals instead of checking your email the first thing in the morning. Another way is to create filters and labels to prioritize important emails and schedule times to respond to less important ones.
The book emphasizes taking control of your email habits, freeing up time for things that matter and helping you become more productive.

Effective Email Communication

To reduce the number of emails received, one must send fewer emails. The article explains the importance of asking three questions when sending an email- is it needed, appropriate, and targeted. It highlights that people tend to overuse “reply-to-all” and provides advice on how to avoid this. The article recommends using abbreviations such as NTN and NRN in subject lines and limiting the use of distribution lists.

Crafting Effective Emails

Learn how to write clear, concise, and actionable emails that get to the point with tips on email organization, subject line wording, and message structure.

Do you struggle with writing emails that are effective and to the point? If so, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves bogged down in lengthy, unfocused email threads that waste time and don’t lead to action.

To avoid this problem, the key is to “strengthen the subject and sculpt the body.” This means using categories such as “action, info, request, confirmed, and delivery” to create strong subject lines. By doing so, you’ll be able to capture the essence of your message and help your recipient understand immediately what you’re writing about.

If you need to follow up on a previous request, use “confirmed” to let the recipient know you took action. For example, you might say “Confirmed: Submitted Proposal on 1/20” to leave little room for misinterpretation. Alternatively, use “delivery” to indicate that you’re responding to a request, as in “Delivery: Completed Marketing Plan.”

While it may be tempting to default to email, it’s important to consider whether it’s the best channel. Think carefully about what mode of communication will be most effective in each situation.

When it comes to crafting effective emails, specificity is key. Avoid subject lines like “meeting”, which are too general and not helpful for recipients who need to quickly find your message. Instead, include relevant information like the topic, date, and location to save searching time. If all that needs to be said is in the subject line, use “EOM” – or “end of message” – to signal that there’s nothing to be found in the body of the email.

It’s tempting to use email to avoid difficult conversations, but important to remember that it’s not always the most effective method of communication. If you do need to deliver critical feedback, consider having a live conversation instead.

When structuring your emails, keep in mind the ABC structure: “Action summary” – a one-sentence summary of the message; “Background” – the heart of the message where you can use bullet points and white space for clarity; and “Close” – a clear call to action or closing remark to wrap things up.

By following these simple guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to crafting emails that are clear, concise, and actionable – and that lead to more productive conversations with your colleagues and associates.

The Power of Information Coaching

This book summary highlights the underutilization of information coaching among professionals and provides a three-part approach to overcome common challenges. Many professionals tend to feel embarrassed to ask for help with simple daily tasks like e-mails, lack mnemonics to retain coaching, and don’t know how to coach others. To make the most of information coaching, individuals need to accept feedback, coach themselves, and coach others. Implementing e-mail reduction strategies and acknowledging excellent e-mails can improve communication efficiency. The focus should shift from what is stored to how it’s stored. Professionals can schedule department meetings to discuss improving e-mail efficiency, share personal experiences, and ask for feedback from colleagues. Introducing the “action, background, close” message structure and checking messages for necessity, relevance, and targeted audience are other ways to enhance e-mail efficiency. With time and practice, information coaching can save individuals and their colleagues valuable time.

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