Last week I saw an email that was approximately 600 words that I was able to sum up in 3 sentences:

I may have misinterpreted your instructions, but I’m concerned that you are expecting x, y and z from me. I’m stretched a bit thin right now.  I may need some assistance if I am responsible for completing x,y and z; please confirm your expectations.

Oversized Load

That’s 44 words – more than 90% less words than the original.

The lesson here – Keep it simple – if you feel that it needs to be longer due to complexity, write a report, letter or make a phone call or see them recipient in person. Email overload is compounded by unnecessarily complex content.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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