Goodness! I cannot believe it’s been another five weeks without any updates on this blog on my weekly progress reports (Now probably monthly!) on living a "World Without Email". Time flies, they say, when you are having fun, eh? Well, here I am again, then; sharing with you folks a couple of thoughts on what has happened over the last few weeks and with a clear resolution I need to go back to blogging, at least, bi-weekly on how things are progressing further and I will explain why shortly…
For now, let’s get started with the progress report from last week, week #27, i.e. the latest one (Since you can find weeks #23, #24, #25 and #26 in my Flickr account already), so you can have a look into what happened in those weeks:
Whoahhh! As you would be able to see, it’s been quite a roller-coaster ride so far! Started with week #23 hitting over the mark of 30 emails received then going down to 22, then 19 (Way on target this one!); then a whopping 47 and, finally, 15 emails received last week. Yes, I know! Quite a ride! Going from the highest number of emails received in a single week for this second year of giving up on corporate email to the lowest number so far in 27 weeks and counting!
Thus what happened? Why was such a massive roller-coaster ride effect taking place, specially last week and the week before? Well, if I would have to summarise it in a couple of words it would be "A moment of weakness from yours truly!". More than a moment of weakness an entire week of weakness!! Jeez! … Here is why…
Week 26 I lowered my arms (Probably way too much!) and started giving in by engaging with my colleagues using email when replying to their threads. Yes, I know! I shouldn’t have done that! I should have known better! But then again I thought my efforts of trying to escape corporate email during the last 18 months would have payed off to some extent by now, and eventually I found out they didn’t. At least not as much as I would have hoped for!
People started to send me emails much more frequently than before, as opposed to reach out to me through the standard social software channels we established together a while ago. And I guess I understand it. Sending an email is still far easier than any other form of online interaction. Unfortunately, we are not there yet fully embracing social software to collaborate and share our knowledge with our peers.
However, just like 18 months ago, I’m not ready any longer to turn my Inbox into "a todo list that anyone in the world can write to" (I just *love* that quote from a fellow IBM colleague in Australia: Rene Cunningham), so I decided to fight back! And get tougher on engaging back with colleagues using email. I just didn’t! And the result of that was receiving the lowest number of emails in a single week this year! Down from 47 to just 15!
That, to me, is a good enough reason to understand that it’s still going to take a while for folks to perhaps change their work habits (And to start embracing some of these social software tools); and for me, of course, to keep putting up with that healthy fight and keep taking back control of my own productivity. Because, like I have been saying all along, if I don’t take care of it myself and re-gain that productivity at work back again, no-one else is going to do it! Thus I might as well keep going at it. After all, can you imagine yourself receiving 15 emails in a single week?
Well, I just did that last week! Yay! And after this short moment of weakness I went through a couple of weeks back, I can now say I have fully recovered from it and feel like I am back! Back into my usual self: demonstrating it’s possible to work in a corporate environment, as effectively, if not more, as ever, making use of social software tools as opposed to traditional "collaborative" tools like email, amongst others.
And one of the biggest culprits of that statement I have just mentioned above has been my number one social software tool behind the firewall that has helped me tremendously in achieving that: IBM’s Lotus Connections, which, by the way, just announced today the official Connections v2.5 planned availability for August 28th 2009. A new massive release I will be sharing plenty of details about in upcoming blog posts as I will try to detail how it is helping me escape the email beast, or, at least, keeping it under control with 20, or less, emails a week… Making up for a total reduction of my incoming emails in the last few months by over 90% … Not bad, eh? Indeed, not bad at all!
Tags: Enterprise 2.0, Social Software, Social Networking, Social Computing, Social Media, Collaboration, Communities, Learning, Knowledge Sharing, KM, Knowledge Management, Remote Collaboration, Innovation, IBM, Networking, Social Networks, Conversations, Dialogue, Communication, Connections, Relationships, email, Productivity, Re-purposing Email, No-Email, Challenge Your Inbox, Progress Reports, Thinking Outside the Inbox, Information Overload, A World Without Email, Moment of Weakness, Rene Cunningham, IBM Lotus Connections, Lotus Connections, Connections, Announcements, Connections 2.5, Lotus Connections v2.5