Many of us have accepted that sending email is simply a major part of our workdays. And while there is a ton of information on how to handle an overflowing inbox, how can we tackle the quality of the emails we send and receive? How can we leverage email to get important stuff done?
At Barking Up the Wrong Tree---a website dedicated to exploring the latest research on what makes people happy and successful---Eric Barker outlines five emails to send each week or so that will make your life better. Three of them are related to work: one to your boss summarizing your accomplishments, one to a potential mentor, and one to an old friend or colleague to check in. The suggestion to email a potential mentor is especially helpful:
"Once a week email a potential mentor.
Doesn’t have to be related to your job. Who do you admire that you could learn from? As I’ve blogged about before, mentors are key to success.
Any person lucky enough to have had one great teacher who inspired, advised, critiqued, and had endless faith in her student’s ability will tell you what a difference that person has made in her life. “Most students who become interested in an academic subject do so because they have met a teacher who was able to pique their interest,” write Csikszentmihályi, Rathunde, and Whalen. It is yet another great irony of the giftedness myth: in the final analysis, the true road to success lies not in a person’s molecular structure, but in his developing the most productive attitudes and identifying magnificent external resources.
This is one of those things everyone seems to know but nobody does anything about.
It’s the age of the internet, folks. If you have Google and half an ounce of resourcefulness it’s not that hard to find almost anyone’s email address. If they have a website, their email is probably listed on it.
(More on the power of mentors here.)"
Read the rest of his advice at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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by Allison Jones