Quote of the Week
“Checking email every 45 seconds is not only compulsive, it’s presumptuous. It suggests a belief that anyone who sends us a message needs us to read it immediately, even if the message is from SkyMall telling us our Bigfoot Garden Yeti statue has shipped.” — Meghan Daum
A few years ago I ran across the concept of a default activity in my blog reading. A default activity is one that you resort to without thinking about it. It can be anything – eating, reading, watching television, surfing the web, checking social media or checking email.
For me, email is my default activity. If I am sitting at my computer and not particularly motivated to do what needs to be done, I’ll open the browser and check email. Or if I go to the browser, I feel a strong urge to check email.
It doesn’t stop there. When I open my phone, if I see the email app, I will check email automatically. If I am doing my daily morning routine, which includes sending an email reflection based on a reading, I can get sucked into the inbox and find myself late for work.
The problem with email is that you are dealing with someone else's tasks. Click To Tweet
Think about that statement.
Email is when people send you stuff that you need to act on. That means that email is someone else’s priority, landing in your lap.
I have to remind myself of that. Frequently.
Because the truth is I want to work on my priorities. I have had too many days when I haven’t done anything of my own, because I have been responding to others. Or because I got sidetracked with email and did a bunch of low-value activities.
So what would happen if I checked email only twice a day?
Would the world end? I suspect not. It’s one of the things I am going to work on over the next few months.
I suspect that it is like an addiction and I won’t be able to break it immediately. But I’m going to try. Because I need to reclaim my task list as my own.
That’s about it for this week’s edition. We’ll see what next week brings. Until then, be productive, be peaceful, and keep your balance.