Despite the hoopla in early 2008 that President Barack Obama would relinquish his BlackBerry when assuming office, he’s quite the email addict and frequently sends and receives messages for work and fun.
He may be the first U.S. commander-in-chief to tote a smart phone, but does he need it? And, could he go about daily activities if he was restricted from using it?
Gwen Bell writes about using technology less to increase productivity. One of her tactics is something Noah Fleming also picked up on, as he opted to curb an email addiction and reduce his message checking to twice a day.
I’ve noticed that sometimes I spend 1-2 hours a day responding to outside email. I’d like to re-assess whether that’s the best use of my time. For example, if I spent that time on more scalable ways of communicating, it might help more people. Taking a step away from responding to outside email might also help me find better ways to manage that communication. Maybe someone else can help me. Maybe I can find ways to fix what people email me about (e.g. modify or improve the spam report process so that people don’t feel the need to email me directly with spam reports). This is a chance to re-assess how I’m spending a fair chunk of my time at work and look for a better solution.
With all this talk about sacrifices for certain time periods, how about quitting cold turkey?
But email? Would you do it? Or… would you consider emulating Gwen and Noah (and me) and reducing the frequencies you check email and/or emulating Matt and taking a sabbatical from replying to emails?