What Does the T Stand For?
The T in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Time Usage. People are overwhelmed by the amount of e-mail they must handle each day. There are a number of reasons for this, including
- the global and ubiquitous availability of e-mail,
- the ability to communicate asynchronously, and
- the use of e-mail to replace other forms of communication, namely, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings.
Our use of and reliance on e-mail is largely positive. We accomplish much more now than even a few years ago because we can communicate with others on our schedule and they on theirs. However, some of our e-mail habits are big time wasters from a recipient’s standpoint. Some of these habits have been covered earlier in this Credo, some merit repeating, and some of the suggestions below are new. The objective here is to ask e-mail senders to consider—be mindful of—the recipient’s time.
Here’s a simple question to ask: Is the e-mail I’m sending a good use of the recipient’s time? Remember, they are like you. They get too many e-mails a day, just like you do. They are pushed for time and need to get a lot of things done, just like you do.