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signal to noise

A few days ago I sent a request to co-worker saying "please do XXX -- but not until friday." He handled the request immediately, and when I asked him about it, he said, "You think I read all your mail?" It would be ridiculous to complain about a request being handled too fast, and that this co-worker is way on top of his game, so probably the miscommunication came from me. I send so much email to internal and external team mailing lists that it is entirely understandable that a few important nuggets would occasionally be missed. Could I send less email and be a more effective team member?
Andy van Dam is legendary for his use of ultra-compact email replies:

  • tnx -a

  • ack. -a and ok -a

  • see me -a and its more intimidating cousins see me pls and call me.

  • tmrw and do it and ask lsh are also frequent fliers.

With these eight-letter messages, Andy runs several small empires. What can I leave out of my email compositions to be more effective?

Reader Comments (1)

If you didn't want it done until Friday:

* Tell the co-worker on Thursday;

* Or if s/he needed days to think about the task, and did it too soon, it's his/her fault.

12.23.2006 at 11:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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