Don’t cc:

I read Cal Newport’s book on productivity titled Deep Work. It’s very good but I have one more suggestion to add to Newport’s list of productivity tricks.

I never participate in cc: email exchanges. If I’m in the cc: it means I’m not very central to the discussion. So the discussion can survive without my input. The added benefit of deleting the cc: emails is that people learn soon enough and dramatically reduce the number of times they feel the need to include me.

And please remember, I’m department chair. The initial knee-jerk instinct of everybody who works in my department was to cc: me on absolutely everything. By now, though, I have taught even the most dedicated cc:-ers to desist.

As a result, I’ve already had 3 very serious articles accepted this calendar year (since January 1st) and am hoping for at least two more by the year’s end. I’ve had zero problems arise from my stubborn deletion of the cc: The Dean’s Office adores me.

As Newport says, everybody adjusts to the quirks of your communication style very fast. For instance, it’s useless to try to contact me when I’m with my child. I go completely incommunicado. It’s almost easier to reach me when I’m asleep. And it’s ok, everybody is surviving this quirk.

I also never check the phone messages at my place of work. They have been accumulating somewhere in the depths of the university telecom system since August 16, 2009. I haven’t accessed them once. And guess what? Absolutely nothing. Nobody noticed. Or if they did, they must be expressing their unhappiness through phone messages. Which I never check.

2 thoughts on “Don’t cc:

  1. Reply to “Don’t cc:”

    I am confused by this. On those occasions when I was a committee chair or secretary, I typically sent an email notification of a meeting, or an agenda of same, by emailing it to myself with cc: to each committee member. The alternative of sending a separate email to each member is awfully cumbersome.


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