Separate the Triage Room From the Waiting Room

Hospitals separate the triage room from the waiting room otherwise you would have patients with time-sensitive medical issues waiting and dying.

The two concepts are entirely different—triaging is sorting, waiting is queuing. Triaging must be done quickly to avoid missing urgent issues. Waiting is buffering to help process large quantities of things without becoming overwhelmed.

This applies to our email too. If your inbox is both a waiting area and a triage room, you have the same problem—time-sensitive concerns will wait. It’s better to treat the email inbox as triage only and find another system to process it (including waiting).

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