Email isn't always the best way to coordinate a meeting. Here's Get-It-Done Guy's easy tip to make it work for you.
Scheduling used to be easy and fun. You'd call a colleague and say, "Are you free Wednesday at 1 pm?" They would respond, "No." You'd say "Are you sure? How about a three-martini lunch?" They'd say, "No, I'm really busy." Then you'd say, "My treat." They'd say, "My appointment just canceled. See you at 1pm!"
These days, the "convenience" of email has made coordinating just a little bit harder. As I lament in the "Conquer Technology" chapter of my book, Get-it-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, people use email as if they were having a conversation. I bet you've experienced this kind of email exchange:
- "Let's have lunch!"
- "Great, when?"
- "How about Tuesday?"
- "No, can't do Tuesday."
- "Oh. Wednesday, then?"
- "What time?"
Only each part of the conversation is separated by several hours, if not days.
Thankfully, it's easy to make email scheduling efficient again.
Simply put all the details into your first email, then stop. In your initial note, specify when and where you'd like to meet. "Let's go to City Bar Wednesday at 1pm for a three-martini lunch." If the person responds "No," but doesn't give a complete counter-proposal, it's time to take matters into your own hands. Or more accurately, out of your own hands.
Stop the email and pick up the phone. Call the person and work out the details then and there. With a live person on the phone, you can cut through the back-and-forth and check "schedule lunch" off your to-do list. And with the time you just saved, you can spend more time with your family. It will be just like a real-life version of Mad Men, with you playing the part of Don Draper. Who could ask for more?