Over the weekend I had a night where I had the craziest dreams. One after another. I would wake up to pee, and remember my dream and think how bizarre.
The last dream I had that night was one with my mom and grandma. I was driving my grandma’s tank of a car, a light blue Chevy Caprice Classic if you want the visual in your head (1977 at that). I had to take it to get something fixed and when the guy drove it he moved the seat. The seat in that car in the front was one big seat that moved, so I knew when I got in I would have to fix it back to her liking, but it I was not sure I got it right, so I came and found her when I got back and she was doing the oddest types of cleaning and then she disappeared and I find my mom.
Now for the last few years of my mom’s life (I was 12-16) she was sick, so often the memories I have she is sick. When she appeared in this dream she was sick, but sitting up on her own (which was not possible in reality). She looked different (yet not well) and she told me she had been in the weight room, and something about her stomach. Which reminded me that I was pregnant and the ‘lil man started kicking me and I then said to my mom would you like to feel him kick? She put her hand on my belly, and that is when I woke up.
Obviously a vivid dream for me, and one that hit home, just the mere moment in seconds of feeling like my mom got to experience a moment with me and my son. And, then it was gone. I woke up with tears in my eyes, and of course had to get up and pee. I find it fascinating how these things happen when we least expect them. Maybe it was a sign or message for me. Even as I type this I have tears in my eyes. My mom has been gone for 21 years. Away from me longer than she was with me. What would it be like to share these last 2 months of my pregnancy with her?
Do you ever have days when you never see the end of your email inbox? When you could literally spend the entire day reading and responding to emails? I recently read this Fast Company article “Why Every Email Should Be 5 Sentences Long.” and it really made me think. What if we were blunt at the beginning of our email if we need someone to take action?
I will give you an example:
ACTION: I need you to review the below and give your feedback by 5 pm today.
[Body of the rest of your email that needs to be reviewed.]
I have always been of the email camp that an email should be a conversation, and I am not backing away from that stance. Except. Yes, there is an exception. I think it depends on the audience and intent of the email. If it is from a company and they are apologizing for an issue that they caused to a customer, then they need to have a more structured email. They need to greet the customer (just as they would if it was in person), state what needs to be said and conclude/say goodbye. That process I still strongly think needs to happen.
It is the action oriented emails that need a change in behavior. These are the exception. With the volume of emails that we receive on a given day, we all need help to know which emails are important. That is thanks to those of us who may have colleagues that have abused the red exclamation point to the extent that no one really knows if an email is truly urgent.
Try it today. Any action oriented emails, put ACTION at the top, and tell others right at the beginning what you need them to do with your message. I would love to hear how it goes.