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Good Reading - "The Tyranny of Email"

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  • Good Reading - "The Tyranny of Email"

    In a nutshell, the author recommends checking your email manually when YOU are ready to deal with it - and not have a constant flow of email interruptions throughout the day. A novel idea in this era of always on/instant delivery corporate email systems.

    Also, some other good thoughts on scheduling uninterrupted work.

    I've started implementing his email suggestions today and so far, so good. I don't miss that little sound and icon popping up while I'm in the middle of something.


    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

  • #2
    Thanks for this article Max, it's brilliant.

    I called out for help on this one a couple of weeks ago and got the advice listed in here - turn off the indicators, check manually etc.

    At first it felt really weird but now I like it - I sometimes even 'forget' to check while I'm getting on with (and achieving) things.

    It reminds me of many years ago when I was working from home managing an online community and with chat hosts spread all around the world & we used icq to communicate. Problem it was 'expected' by the company employing us that we should be online and available like that at all times so you can imagine how much got done in the way of real work. It was a nightmare - email for me has become a similar attention grabber and the problem is that I have clients who have the expectation now that they will get an 'immediate response'.

    I'm wondering now that I"ve made a 'change' in my behaviour whether or not I should send out a little email saying I've modified the way I work and not to panic if I don't instantly reply - or do you think it would be better to forward the link to this article with a few comments and they can read for themselves? The ones in particular who expect the instant answer are the ones on cable like myself using the alerts etc.

    I'm sort of hoping there could be a similar article written in relation to mobile phones now as well!

    kind regards and thanks again.



    • #3

      Sending the article link is a good move, and/or placing a little note into your email signature should work too.

      I also get sidetracked by email, but I can't turn it off because I provide support services for a couple of clients, so being on top of email is part of what I do.

      I also can't seem to function properly if I don't clean out my email inbox first thing each morning. It grates on my nerves or something. So, first thing every weekday, about 7am, I start cruising through my and my client-focused inboxes. I clean out all spam first, so I'll have a clue as to what's really waiting for my attention, then I'll answer anything that needs immediate attention, and leave the rest for later in the day when I have less energy.

      I don't remember if there's anything specific about this in GTD, but I've seen many recommendations against doing it. i.e. "Don't waste your most productive time on misc paperwork such as email". But it's like having a clean desk for me. I can't concentrate and feel completely in control of things unless it's clean.