Check your inbox. Chances are good there are several unnecessary email trails. Do your part to stop the madness by adopting the following habits.
First, and most importantly, before you automatically start writing an email, ask yourself, “What is the most efficient way to communicate about X?” Then use that method—unless the other person has clearly expressed a different preference.
If you’re on the receiving end of the mail, respond to the thread only if you have something substantive to say. “Thank you” does not count. You can always let the sender know you’ve received the email privately if that’s your concern.
Ask to be taken off the email trail if your participation is unnecessary. Give your subordinates guidelines so they know when they should cc you on messages.
Your time is valuable. Make sure you keep strong boundaries so that you are using your energy for the highest payoff activities.