As if all the deadlines causing stress and the\n\nhigh workload weren\u2019t enough to make people at work keep their heads\n\ndown, there is the dreaded volume and velocity of e-mail to help fill\n\nout the day. \n\nE-mail can become so consuming that it can take away any sense of\n\nflexibility, especially when it causes businesspeople to get lost in\n\nthe messages of the moment, taking them away from what should be the\n\nimportant focus for the long term.\n\nIt\u2019s difficult to be flexible when a day is filled with the\n\ncrisis of the moment, the laundry list of things to do, phone calls,\n\npersonnel issues and then perhaps a few hours of e-mail writing and\n\nreading. Three-fourths of senior executives and managers now spend an\n\nhour or more a day sending, receiving, reading or writing e-mail, and a\n\nthird spend three or more hours a day. By the time all this is done,\n\nany sense of flexibility is gone until too late in the day. \n\nIt is estimated that in a year, the total number of e-mails sent will\n\nhit 60 billion, with a third of executives ranking the majority of\n\ntheir e-mail as unnecessary.\n\nBusinesspeople need a break from e-mail\n\noverload, which means they should take steps to control e-mail in order\n\nto remain flexible. \n\nThough there are various books and ideas about managing e-mail, here\n\nare a few simple steps that might help get e-mail under control in a\n\ndepartment or organization.\n\nIf any subject or issue involves more than two e-mails, one party should call the other to resolve the issue by phone.\n\n\n\nNo junk e-mail, no jokes. \n\n\n\nOnly send relevant information, which is defined as just what the person needs to know.\n\n\n\nLimit CCs (which might be more appropriately named CYA).\n\n\n\nDon\u2019t ping-pong with e-mail for a conversation; use the phone.\n\n\n\nDeal with it and delete it.\n\n\n\nDon\u2019t read every e-mail as it comes in; handle them in batches.\n\n\n\nWhile e-mail is critical in many aspects of business,\n\nespecially in dealing with different time zones and widely dispersed\n\ncustomers and employees, it can become overwhelming if not kept under\n\ncontrol.\n\nBased on our global research, the five top ways that executives and\n\nmanagers deal with their e-mail overload are: deleting e-mail without\n\nreading, reading e-mail only from known sources, using filtering\n\nsoftware, sending fewer CCs and using multiple e-mail accounts.\n\nAt the end each day, businesspeople should see where e-mail was\n\neffective and where it was a time-waster or diverted focus from\n\nbusiness objectives. If a pattern can be determined, the manager then\n\nhas an opportunity to change it for the better. Even more important,\n\nthis can identify where the manager can cut down on time spent on\n\ne-mail, providing more time for a business activity that may matter\n\nmore.