Is e-mail ruining your life? Delete … now
According to a report to be published in October by the New York-based research company Basex, unnecessary interruptions such as spam, other unnecessary e-mail and instant-messages take up 28 percent of the average knowledge worker’s day.
So if I spend another 28 percent of my day in the bathroom and another 40 percent blogging…wow! That’s like 106% of my day spent…(I’ll resist finishing that sentence).
Behind the e-mail backlash is a growing perception that — despite its convenience and everything positive it has brought to work and social situations — it is a monster that’s threatening to ruin our lives.
“It chases you,” said Natalie Firstenberg, a Los Angeles therapist who said the subject of e-mail is a frequent subject with her clients. “There are no business hours.”
Methinks her clients needed therapy before they got a smart phone (a misnomer if ever there was one). My friend Smithers has a more colorful moniker for these devices.
As legions of “knowledge workers” vacation this summer, the question of whether to take along the BlackBerry is more complicated than ever. Do, and the vacation might not be such a vacation after all. Don’t, and you’re likely to return to an in-box that takes hours to clear or, worse, the dreaded “your mailbox has exceeded its limits” message.
We covered this here and here.
The Matrix can be our friend. Or our enemy. It’s only as smart or as menacing as we allow it to be.
Well…unless your boss hands you a crackberry on the company account and says “Don’t leave home without it.”
Then you’re pretty much screwed.
And some people (or their parents) are just plain
The nation’s youngsters will soon be headed back to school and making new friends in new classes, as well as catching up with old buddies – activities that these days typically spark a flurry of text-messaging, especially among teens and young adults. But the nation’s emergency physicians say they are seeing a dangerous trend that can go hand-in-hand with texting: a rise in injuries and deaths related to sending text messages at inappropriate times, such as while walking, driving, biking or rollerblading.
“In March, [we] were driving and saw a woman in her twenties step off the curb and get struck square by a pickup truck,” said Dr. Matthew Lewin, MD, PhD, an emergency physician at University of California San Francisco Hospital in San Francisco. “She was unconscious and it appeared she’d suffered a massive brain injury. You could tell she saw the truck at the last moment because her cell phone was dropped right where she was struck just off the curb, and she was thrown about 20 or 30 feet.. It was horrifying. The truck stopped. The driver was devastated. I was amazed to hear she survived all the way to trauma center but died [in] the ER.”
So unless your boss superglues a Blackberry to your wrist, it behooves the wireless warrior to keep your wits about you and condition your fellow thumbinistas. Yesterday on a bike ride I received two phone calls from a client who didn’t leave a message then proceeded to text me:
“JR call me back ASAP. I have to talk to you.”
So I stopped what I was doing, which was biking (Yes, I pulled over), thinking maybe he had had a death in the family or something (I do insurance planning too) and called him only to find out he wanted me to confirm some rumor about one of my colleagues.
I told him that since he had texted me I thought his call was urgent and if it’s okay with him, could we please carry on this conversation later (or not at all).
I used to tell my clients that I return all phone calls within twenty four hours but if you email me “it’s like you sent me a letter – give me a couple days.”
That doesn’t really work any more. In fact, many of my clients see email as more urgent than a phone call, probably because they really don’t use the phone any more. The upside of this is that I in turn can get a lot more done and can communicate a lot more efficiently using email.
Expectations do have to be managed and in a service business such as mine, that must be done in a cordial but firm manner.
It cuts both ways. There’s no such thing as “email tag”, which is a good thing.
So for now, as long as I am able (though I rarely do) to disconnect, I am Master of My Domain on The Matrix; not the other way around.