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How to Cut Down on Wasted E-mail Time

So how can you can cut down on the number of time-wasting e-mails you get at work? There are six basic rules for avoiding unnecessary chatter in your inbox, according to Kaitlin Sherwood, author of "Overcome E-mail Overload."

  • Sign off your messages with "No reply needed" to avoid annoying "Great" and "Wow" responses.
  • When making a request, finish with "Thanks in advance" to prevent the "Thanks/You're welcome" loop.
  • When completing a response to a request, end with a conclusive statement like, "Hope this helped."
  • Use "FYI" in the subject line to specify that the message is solely informative.
  • Don't write statements phrased like questions, like "Peter and Laura did a great job, didn't they?" Your coworkers will answer them, and you'll have more pointless exchanges.
  • When you receive a CC message and you must reply, send your response only to the sender instead of everybody. Use BCC instead of CC as often as possible.

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