E-mail Tips For Everyone
Updated On: Feb 02, 2017
This Month's Timely Tip:  10 Tips for Getting LESS E-mails!
I constantly hear from people, "I just get SO MANY e-mails - even if I use your tips, I'm still buried!" And, in some jobs unfortunately, that is just the basic reality of the job - hundreds of e-mails daily. Now, I do believe that if you follow the systems and techniques I teach, you'll be able to manage those incoming e-mails better. But wouldn't it be nice if you actually started getting LESS e-mails? Here are some tips to help just that happen:
  1. Stop sending so many e-mails! E-mails are like rabbits - the more you have, the more you'll likely get. In essence, every time you send out an e-mail, you are basically asking for one or more e-mail replies in response. Think carefully before sending a message - is this message necessary? Is it clear? Is it confusing? (If confusing or emotional, you are VERY likely to get a SERIES of reply messages.) Have you taken the time to consider whether the message actually needs to go out, and whether you have made it as clear and concise as possible?
  2. Give people permission to NOT reply. Tell them in your message, "I am giving you this information so you can take the necessary action or retain this information for later. You do not need to reply unless confused or if you have questions." That will help get rid of the "Thanks!" "Got it!" "Received" replies, which, while only taking a couple seconds every time, will add up to days of lost productivity over time. (Use "NRN" in your messages? No Reply Necessary - put that in the subject line!)
  3. PUTP: Pick Up the Phone! If the message is difficult, emotional, or naturally confusing, and you cannot easily get it into a clear and concise message, it frankly shouldn't even be an e-mail then! Pick up the phone or go find the person - the two-way nature of these conversations allows for a more efficient communications process on difficult/confusing topics/discussions. E-mail is primarily a ONE WAY communications tool, and is very poor for discussion and deliberation. Diagnose each communications situation, and use the correct communications tool for that situation.
  4. Restrict Your Distribution Lists. Resist the temptation to include anybody and everybody in your e-mail send to list. The more people you add, likely the more replies and comments you will get. And, you open up the possibility that you'll lose control of the communication also, with side conversations and e-mail threads you are not even aware of taking place. Think carefully before sending a message to a group, "Does every person in this list actually NEED this message?" No, I'm not trying to limit or suppress the distribution of information - I'm instead trying to keep people from getting overwhelmed in that same information!
  5. DON'T HIT REPLY ALL! I don't know how many times I've seen people quickly hit reply all when they receive a group distribution e-mail, even when they only have a quick comment that could have easily only gone to the original message writer. Think carefully before hitting "Reply All" -- you will save unnecessary additional work for yourself and many others on the team.
  6. Related, use BCC for group distribution lists. If you are going to send out an e-mail to a larger group of people, one way to STOP reply all to the message is to put all of the recipients in the BCC field rather than the "To" or "CC" fields. Put yourself in the "To" field, and all other recipients in the BCC field - then, if any of the recipients hit reply all, their reply will only go to you. (Now, if you want to be just rotten, you could instead put your least-liked co-worker in the "To" field, so they get all of the replies.) ;-)
  7. STOP Using Your Work E-mail Address for E-newsletters/Online Activities. If you are going to sign up for an e-news or any other kind of repeating periodic message, don't give them your work address. Instead, create an online e-mail account (Gmail, Yahoo, for just those types of messages. (Also consider this account for any online purchases/transactions, social media sign ups, app downloads, etc.) This way, you'll keep your work account focused on work, and have all of the lower value "junk/SPAM" in a different place.
  8. DON'T Give Your WORK E-mail to Family/Friends. Also consider yet another e-mail account for all of those junk, joke, and JPEG messages from your family and friends, as well as the links to all of those really funny online videos. You don't want that stuff coming into your work account for several reasons, not the least of which is the distraction it creates.
  9. Unsubscribe From Messages You No Longer Find Useful. If you are no longer getting benefit from a repeating message you have signed up for, or your situation in work or life has just changed, get rid of the messages no longer bringing high value. (Of course, my repeating messages are AWESOME, so don't unsubscribe from this.) ;-)
  10. BUT, Be Careful with Unsubscribe! If you never signed up for the e-newsletter or other repeating message - it just "appeared" one day and you are not sure how - and you use the Unsubscribe option, you might unwittingly start getting MORE messages! Many unscrupulous e-mail marketers actually send out spammy messages to really huge lists, and actually then SELL those that unsubscribe to other spammers. (You see, when you unsubscribe, you just told the sender you look at your messages, open your messages, and take action on those messages - that makes your e-mail address even MORE valuable to other spammers. Grrrrr ....)
I think if you follow many or all of the tips above, you could greatly reduce some of the especially more annoying/distracting e-mails that you receive. And please share this message with others that are struggling with too many incoming e-mails - yes, I give you permission to do this this one time!
(By the way, this is just one of the many sets of tips and techniques for reducing distraction and e-distraction that I'll be sharing in my upcoming webinar on From Distracted to Productive on February 23. You can learn more about that valuable program here. Use code "RandyDiscount" at checkout to get 20% off this or any of my other online programs. And if you have several people interested, contact me for additional per-person discounts.)

Randy Dean
Randall Dean Consulting & Training, LLC 
PS:  Please consider joining my networking list on LinkedIn -- (would love your recommendation!) and/or becoming a Taming E-mail fan on Facebook here. Follow me on Twitter @timelyman.  (And I'm on YouTube & Google+ too.) ;-) 

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Great Lakes Burn Camp

Free Training Opportunities!

These classes are being funded by the Bureau of Fire Services throught the fireworks training fund.  All firefighters are welcome to attend.  A Leadership class is being offered at Lansing Community College West Campus on Wednesday, August 23rd and the same class is being repeated on Thursday, August 24th at Wayne County Community College.  Click on links for more details.  

Another class titled Principles of Modern Fire Attack is being offered on two consective days(Thursday, August 24th and Friday, August 25th) at Detroit Metro Airport.  Click on link for more details.

Congratulations to the following Michigan Fire Departments that were awarded SAFER Grants recently for the purpose of hiring full time fire fighters:

City of Dearborn $1,795,092.00 8/11/2017
Sterling Heights $2,621,292.00 7/28/2017
Delta Township $916,115.00 7/21/2017

We encourage you to follow this link and sign up for the latest statewide firefighting news from the Bureau of Fire Services.

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The MPFFU Mobile App is now available in your app stores. It's a work in progress but you can find a lot of information right now. Download on your phone today. It's FREE! 

After you download it, Log in as a member with your login and password from this website to see the members only items.  Make sure you check the box to receive push notifications so you can receive important real-time messages from MPFFU.

Legislative Update: July 10th-14th, 2017

Legislative Log as of June 23, 2017



Governor's Task Force Report On Municipal Retiree Benefits Has Been Released.

The task force created by Governor Rick Snyder to address the unfunded health care and pension liabilities associated with the 334 local governments that provide such benefits to their employees has completed its work.

“My goal for this task force was to have collaboration among legislators, state and local government officials, and employee representatives to ensure the financial stability and effective delivery of local government services for the coming decades,” Governor Snyder said in a statement announcing the Task Force. “As we discuss this growing financial problem across the state, it is imperative that we also keep retirees in mind who rely on these programs.”

MPFFU President Mark Docherty was appointed to the task force which was comprised of subject matter experts representing labor and management, investment managers, insurance financial professionals and legislators.  Governor Snyder tasked the group to provide recommendations on pension and health care reforms.

2017 FIRE OPS Event for Legislators

The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union held its annual Fire OPS event for members of the Michigan Legislature on April 17th.  This event gives elected officials an opportunity to get a hands-on glimpse into the the many facets of the every day duties and responsibilities of a firefighter/paramedic in Michigan.

This years participants included Representatives Tommy Brann, Tom Barrett, Brian Elder, Abdullah Hammond, Leslie Love, Jeff Noble, Jenell Jones, Terry Sabo, Tom Cochran, and Donna Lasinski as well as representatives for Kelley Cawthorne Consulting. 

The MPFFU would like to thank LCC for hosting the event and David Weisenberg and Melissa Yutzey for organizing the event.  In addition, several LCC instructors, Local 421 members, and members of the MPFFU Politicial Education Committee assisted and contributed to making the event a great sucess.  More pictures can be found here.

Recorded Webinar Training Sessions Now Available

Would you like to learn more about being a "Union Officer"?  The MPFFU recently offered a series of webinars to provide helpful information to current union officers and other union members that may want to become union officers in the future.  These webinars were recorded and now you can view them anytime!  Click on the tab labeled "Webinars to Watch Now" in the heading near the top of this page to see the list of available webinars.

First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund - Application for Benefits

Pursuant to Public Act 515 of 2014 the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund was created.(AKA Cancer Presumption Law) The Director of the Workers' Compensation Agency is the administrator of the Fund.  The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has created a webpage explaining the process to apply for benefits.

There are still many unanswered questions regarding how the funding is going to be distributed. According to the website, a list of potential claimants is being created and applications will be logged based on the date they are received by their office.

Anyone that meets the critera listed on this webpage should submit an application to get your name on the list.  We will provide more information when it becomes available.

If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may also contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912. 

MPFFU June 2017 Financial Report June 2017

New Law Makes MDA Fill the Boot Legal

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that at 10:20 this morning, July 27, 2017,  Governor Snyder signed HB 4160 into law. At 1:02 pm on July 27th it was filed with the Secretary of State and assigned as PA 112 of 2017 with immediate effect. Short version, it is now legal to collect in the streets for our Fill The Boot fundraising campaign for MDA.

Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force Report Released

Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:27 AM Task Force: Greater Monitoring, New Board Needed For Local Finances More reporting, overall transparency, a fiscal stress test for pension and benefit spending, as well as creation of a new Municipal Stability Board are needed to help local governments maintain ongoing financial stability, a local government task force recommended on Tuesday.

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