There is not always a clear distinction between what is a waste of your time and what can be... let's take it to an extreme, saving you to pay loads of money to a therapist because of your over-stressed life. Distractions have a healthy side and alcohol, tobacco and video games can give you a healthy happiness despite their toxicity. It turns out, as with many things, that the secret of a balanced life is in how much we "consume" of something.
With email and websites like Facebook it becomes even more blurred the distinction between good and bad. I am not going to discuss here the implications that Facebook is having in the lives of those of us who have adopted this site in a routinary basis. Let's focus instead in how to deal with email at work and hope that something can be extrapolated to other areas.
I am not re-inventing the wheel, but just passing on the advices that I read one day to tackle the amount of time spent on the email at work. In fact the original article has as title: How not to check email at work. I am going to summarize here what I have been trying to apply:
- Turn off notifications and sometimes even keep the email manager closed.
- Check the email when making a break and apply the 4 Ds:
- Delete it - delete if it has conveyed its purpose
- Do it - reply if under 2 minutes
- Delegate it - forward if actionable for someone else
- Defer it - put away [folder/star, etc.] for later
How are you dealing with email (and Facebook if it's the case!) at work?