The 4 Hour Workweek: More efficient communication

One of the biggest things I’ve been learning from The 4 Hour Workweek is how to cut down on the volume of email by limiting back-and-forth situations. Here are just a few tips that I’ve come up with:

  • Offer specific choices.
    • Setting up an essential meeting: Instead of “what works for you,” ask “would 1 pm, 2 pm, or 3 pm work best for you?”
    • Obtaining client feedback: Instead of “what do you think about the navigation,” provide two options and ask “do you like the bulleted version or the box version better? If neither, can you provide a link to a site where you like their navigation?”
  • Use numbered lists. If asking a series of specific questions, break them up into a numbered list of questions. This also makes it easier for them to respond to you.
  • Set specific deadlines. Instead of “please send me the content,” use “please send me the content by Friday. If this is not possible, please let me know when you can send it to me. Thanks in advance!”
  • Don’t procrastinate. I’m guilty of sometimes sending back an email just to avoid performing any action by throwing the ball back into their court. To combat this, here’s my new motto: “Don’t be lazy.”

Please feel free to contribute more tips in the comments!

This is my eighth full post with thoughts about The 4 Hour Workweek. View other posts related to The 4 Hour Workweek.

2 thoughts on “The 4 Hour Workweek: More efficient communication

  1. Oh darn. I already do all those things. Does this mean I am doomed to remain at 40 hrs/week?

    My new mantra for more efficient working: no blog reading or Amazon-trolling during work hours — I am so guilty of both!

  2. Good tips. That third one, set specific deadlines, is the one I forget so often and it always means I have to send a second email saying “by Friday please”.

    Your second tip, numbered lists, is also an excellent idea. I think asking specific questions should be a stand-alone tip. It’s really hard to answer vague emails where you’re not sure if you’re being asked to do something, respond to something, approve it, or just read it.

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