I had one of those days last week where I had to go to war with my email. There were a lot in there and I wasn’t making good headway. It was a slog to get through and I don’t think I was doing my best work.

My general philosophy is that email shouldn’t be a slog. That if you manage it well, at worst, email is boring, and at best, it’s productive and fun. But never something that gets you down and feels like a waste of time. So this was a nice reminder in how that can feel.

The thing was: it wasn’t the email. That was misdirection. It was all the work I had to do in order to answer those emails. For example, editing an article that was super rough shape, so I could move it along in an editing schedule. That slog was about the sloppy article, not about the email. Fixing that slog is harder. It means saying no more to articles in that shape. It means adjusting our workflows to share that load. It means being more clear upfront about expectations. It’s people stuff, not so much email stuff.

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