The last couple of months have been insanely busy for me: I am now in a state where my day is scheduled in 20 min increments and booked solid. I’m neither proud nor happy about this particular situation — I merely see it as the price I’m paying for moving some super-exciting projects forward (both at Singularity University as well as some personal projects).
The one thing I have observed and thus learned from this state of busyness: The shorter your email, the more likely you will get a quick answer.
I love connecting with people and I actually don’t mind email — but when I open an email which is more than two or three paragraphs long I routinely find myself dread reading it and instead close the window and put it into the mental box of “dealing with it later”. As this behavior got stronger for me the busier I got — I was curious and asked a bunch of my VC and startup friends how they deal with the situation (as they are all insanely busy). Same deal: The longer your email, the less likely it is that you get a timely response.
Mark Twain is often quoted (long story — but there is a ton of controversy about the proper attribution) with saying “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” — make this your mantra. Don’t shy away from sending email to people you believe to be important and thus often busy — just make your email short and to the point. You will increase your chance of a (timely) response dramatically! :)