The Genius Way Coca-Cola Employees Manage Their Email, Plus More Tips

This blog post is from our Guest Author: Jacky Carter
Here it is:
Forget work/life balance. You can sleep when you die.
At least that’s how Snapchat’s Emily White and Coca Cola’s Wendy
Clark said they approach time management in a hyper-connected
world. And the idea of unplugging? Ha.
“Rather than the choice to consciously disconnect, there’s much
more of a trend of choosing who to connect with and in what
context,” White said. “It’s very much about conversations.”

During a panel at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit on Monday,
White, the COO of Snapchat and a veteran of Instagram, Facebook
and Google, said she now relies on her phone more than her
computer to get work done. “You’re not just getting information
and solving problems; you’re getting to communicate in motion like
never before,” White said. “This is the reason I can have kids and
still have a relationship with them, and work in the evenings when
I get home [after the kids are in bed].”
For Clark, the president of sparkling brands and strategic
marketing for Coca-Cola North America, being present at work or
with her family is the key to living in an over-connected world.
“The thing people want most from you is your focus and attention,”
Clark said. “You destroy that when you think that you’re
multitasking because you’re not accomplishing either.”
That means no phones at the dinner table, for her or her kids. And
if she’s expecting an urgent email from the CEO when they’re
putt-putt golfing, she’s found the best thing to do is tell them
that mommy needs to go respond to an email for 10 minutes and hope
they don’t screw up her score while she’s gone.
So when you’re constantly connected, how do you get anything
Make the most of your subject lines. Clark said that at
Coca-Cola, employees include tags in their subject lines to help
manage email flow: URGENT, ACTION REQUIRED and INFORM.
Form habits you can keep. Recognize that you’re setting the
standard for what people in your life will do, White said. If you
start emailing people at night, people will expect you to be on
email at night.
Give yourself white space during the day. Clark’s a fan of
Google’s “speedy” meeting invitations, which are constrained to 50
minutes, without an option to override the system. By changing the
standard for meetings to 25 or 50 minutes, the remaining five or
10 minutes can be used to check email or go to the bathroom,
allowing everyone to be more present when they’re together.
Set boundaries. Camille Preston, author of Rewired, says
having boundaries will help you with willpower. Put fences up to
focus on what you want to do at that time.
Don’t hit send. If you want to work on the weekends, save your
emails as drafts, but don’t actually send them until Monday unless
they’re urgent. As a leader, you need to let people enjoy their
For more coverage of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, go
To continue the conversation about issues that are relevant to
professional women, visit Connect: Professional Women’s Network.


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment