Do you seem to spend a large portion of your day reading and responding to emails? Or, even worse, waiting for a response to emails you have sent? Then this military technique might be just what you’re looking for!

Use these 3 military tips to maximise the efficiency of your emails and ensure you spend as little time as possible reading and writing them…

1. Include action keywords in email subject lines

This gives your email the best chance at being noticed by the recipient and gives them a clear indicator of what you want them to do with the email. Here are some examples of words that work:

ACTION – This indicates that an action is required from the recipient

SIGN – Let your recipient know you need a signature

INFO – Information only, no action necessary

DECISION – To let your recipient know you need a decision

REQUEST – A request for information, permission or approval usually

COORD – Coordination is required between you and the recipient

Try to put your action word at the very beginning of a subject line for maximum efficiency. Your regular contacts will eventually get used to this style and you may even find some begin to emulate it.

2. Write with the bottom line up front (BLUF)

Many types of writing have a natural start, middle and end. In this case, it pays to put the important information right at the beginning of the email so that the recipient can instantly get an idea of what the email is about and what you need. A good way to achieve this is to make sure that you answer all of the W’s in the first few lines of an email – who, what, where, when and why.

3. Write economically

There’s always a tendency to waffle in emails and write in a conversational tone. However, you can save yourself a lot of time writing emails and also save your recipient time in reading them by writing economically. Try to keep your emails short and informative and avoid any fluffy language unless it’s absolutely necessary. If needs be, you can always use bullet points to get your information across in a succinct and brief manner.