Recently I wrote my second blog post about managing and controlling your e-mail inboxes. I bring this up again for two reasons. But first – a quick refresher. In that previous post, I gave our three suggestions that I use to manage my own inbox. I set up specific times throughout the day to respond. I have a file/folder structure. And I have turned off all types of new message notifications.
Okay, so why am I writing about e-mail again?!
Some people will never understand.
In that previous post I mentioned about how I received an e-mail from someone a half hour after the first e-mail asking me if I had received it yet because I hadn’t yet responded. It happened again this past week, only in a grander sense. I got an e-mail and didn’t respond for two-and-a-half hours. That was simply because it came after one of my checking times and I did respond once the next time period came up. I got in trouble for my slowness in responding.
I responded that using the time-check schedule has made me more productive and thus, it was working. Didn’t matter. I needed to be available on my e-mail all the time. The fact that was left out was that there were no phone calls. I am always reachable by my phone. E-mail should never be the only form of communication. But it just goes to show that some people will never change and will never disconnect from their own worlds and their own needs. The key point here is this: we are all different. What works for me may not work for you, and vice-versa. But each person’s way is valid so long as it works. We should value and welcome unique management systems and work to understand them and work within them, instead of trying to get everyone to do it our way.
Research shows I’m right.
In a recent New York Times article, Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price, they write about the problem with all the technology in our lives. Here are some takeaways from the story:
- The nonstop interactivity is one of the most significant shifts ever in the human environment, said Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco.
- Mr. Campbell, 43, came of age with the personal computer, and he is a heavier user of technology than most. But researchers say the habits and struggles of Mr. Campbell and his family typify what many experience — and what many more will, if trends continue. He goes to sleep with a laptop or iPhone on his chest, and when he wakes, he goes online. He watches a TV news feed in the corner of the computer screen while he uses the rest of the monitor to check his e-mail. Major spats have arisen because Mr. Campbell escapes into video games during tough emotional stretches. On family vacations, he has trouble putting down his devices. When he rides the subway to San Francisco, he knows he will be offline 221 seconds as the train goes through a tunnel.
So, there you have it. And what is “it” you ask? I’m not sure actually. I just wanted to share my thoughts on e-mail and technology again. I guess what I’m trying to say at the basic level is that I urge you to manage your e-mail and technology usage so life and your passions can happen. That’s why I have my system.