5 Sentences & 5 Minutes Email Policy

The Problem

Emails and messages take too much time and energy to read and respond, resulting in stress, diminished productivity and unhappiness for those who receive a lot of email and other written communications.

The Solution

Keep most emails very short, similar to SMS text messages or Tweets. Since it’s impractical to manually count letters, limit the number of sentences. 1

Most of the emails I write, regardless of importance, recipient, or subject will be 5 sentences or less and be typed in under 5 minutes.

This is not a strict policy for every email I send, but it is my default policy.

I also prefer to not respond thoughtlessly, reactively, and immediately to emails. I prefer to take at least 5 minutes before I respond. This gives me time to understand, consider, and be rational in my reply.

I aim to respond to most emails and messages within 5 working days.

  1. Inspired by five.sentenc.es []

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