Email Procedure

At the bottom of my email, I have a short signature:

Graham Scharf
Author, The Apprenticeship of Being Human
p | @grahamscharf
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Please note: I process email once daily. Here’s why. If your message is urgent, please call or text me.


  1. A phone is a terrible device for emailing. Using a computer is roughly 10x faster for reading and responding to my email.
  2. 95% of (my) email is not urgent. My friends, family, and clients know that if it is urgent, there is a way to reach me . . . and it isn’t email.
  3. Compartmentalizing email is efficient. Email processing deserves a discrete scheduled time each day – and no more.
  4. We prioritize what we schedule. I block my calendar for the people and projects that are important. Email shouldn’t intrude on those priorities.
  5. Email can be distracting. If I enabled email notifications on my computer and phone, I’d be interrupted 30-100 times on a given day. Why would you do that to yourself?
  6. It sets healthy expectations. If your sphere knows that you respond to email daily (except when you set an “I’m not responding to email until XXXX” auto-responder), but that you’re not a slave to it, they’ll know when to call you, when to email you, and within what timeframe they can expect a response. That’s better for everyone.

So if you want to reach me, email me. If you don’t receive an auto-responder, you can expect a prompt, but not instantaneous, response. And that’s good for both of us.

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