Juliet FuntWhiteSpace & Productivity

Lesson 4: Breaking the Urgent Email Dynamic

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The pace at which our team members respond to emails has created a culture where true time sensitivity has been lost.

Different Levels of Email Time Sensitivity

Juliet Funt describes how increasing your awareness about the true time sensitivity of your communication can simplify your work processes.


Juliet Funt described three levels of time sensitivity to help us discern the true urgency of our communication.

1. Not time sensitive
2. Emotionally time sensitive
3. Tactically time sensitive


In a typical day, what percentage of your communication is filtered through a time-sensitivity grid before you decide to initiate or respond to a situation?


WhiteSpace & Time Sensitivity: If you compartmentalize the true time sensitivity of your communication, your team will become more effective.

—Juliet Funt

Try inserting a WhiteSpace wedge to identify a task’s true time sensitivity this week. What would that look like for you?


Take the assessment below to reflect on what you have learned about WhiteSpace and Productivity in this course. Make notes in your journal about the ways you have seen growth and how you can continue to apply your learnings.

  • Where have you seen improvement?
  • What have you learned about yourself as a leader?



Use the scale below to rate yourself.

1 – Never True of Me
2 – Rarely True of Me
3 – Sometimes True of Me
4 – Mostly True of Me
5 – Always True of Me


Assessment Questions:

1.  In a typical workday, I have a good flow of emails, meetings and phone calls and am able to get to my necessary work.

2. In a typical workday, I spend less than thirty minutes of my time on non-productive busywork.

3. In a typical workday, spend less than thirty minutes of my time in meetings where I am not a necessary contributor.

4. In my workplace, I am a champion for simpler processes and communication in order to make our team more productive.

5. I use a batch email strategy, devoting specific time during my day or week to handle email all at once.

6. I resist the urge to check email throughout the day.

7. I keep an ongoing list (a “yellow list”) of discussion topics for each of my team members to cut down on email overflow.

8. I resist the urge to send an email when a short meeting would be quicker or more productive.

9. I can distinguish between matters that are tactically time sensitive vs. those that are emotionally time sensitive.

10. In a busy season, my teammates would say that I successfully deliver on the projects that are time-sensitive and table those that are not.

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