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Hooked on Email June 2nd, 2010

Hooked on Email

When you’re trying to get something done, checking email is a distraction. A big one. It disturbs your focus. Still, it’s very easy to get into a habit where you keep checking it. Constantly. Every couple of minutes. Maybe even more often.

I’ve done it.

Don’t you think it’s a time waster?

I do. I know you do as well.

It’s a habit that “creeps” on me from time to time. I have ways to manage it, but it’s easily broken when I’m expecting something. Or for some other, X, reason. Or when I don’t feel like doing work. Whatever. You know what I mean. :)

But I found something intersting today. It turns out there are some very effective ways to manage this constant email checking.

In this article, Why You’re Hooked on Email – And Five Ways to Stop, Ali Hale describes some very effective ways to cope with the “email checking” problem.

Yes, it’s a problem. It kills your productivity. And I think that’s a big issue.

She presents some very good ways. If you have or ever had this issue (most of us do, actually), at least at some point, you owe to yourself to read this article. Hey, it might help you in other ways.

I’m not going to summarize the article here. It’s better if you read it in full. But I learned a few things from the article. I discovered two new services that I think are really cool. – Instead of checking your email constantly, why not set up a “checker” for that important email you’re expecting? Yes, that’s how works. You sign up. Install a Firefox plugin and then in your Gmail account, you can setup these filters. I think this is really cool. I signed up today so I have not really tested it yet, but I hope to use it in cases where I know I”m waiting for an email from somebody. – It’s an online timer, counting down. The nice thing about it is that it’s really simple. You go to a url, say minutes (go head, click it), and you have just set a 2-minute countdown! Nice, right? I know. If you ever used keywords in Firefox, you can make it even smarter and easier to use. I setup a keyword “timer x” where x is the amount of minutes I use. So I type “timer 10″ and I get a 10-minute timer. This is great. I know I’ll use it all the time. Oooops. I just heard the 2 minute timer I setup earlier. Works really great.

Once again, constant email checking is a problem. Recognize it. And then deal with it effectively.

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