Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A hard choice

I always have my browser up, and the first tab on the left is gmail (the second and third are google calendar and reader). I also have google notifier in my status bar, so that I can instantly see when somebody has sent me an email. And I check frequently if there is any.

Not any more. After reading an interesting blog post about time management, I have decided to change my ways. No more google email notifier (though I keep the calendar notifier up), no more open tab with gmail. No more instant replies.

It seems to me that this is a major drain on time (and interrupter of longer lasting tasks), and I will now aim to read my email (and respond to it) three times a day: morning, when I come into the office, lunch-time, when I have a break, and afternoon, before I'm ready to go. This means I won't be able to have on-going 'conversations' by email, and people will have to wait for replies longer, but I also hope it means I get more productive things done during the day.

As an email addict I don't know how long I will be able to keep this up, but I'm starting today!


  1. It's a long article, but there are some gems in there - how is it going so far? I've also begun a new gtd system called 'Turn the f*&%$£g email off' and it's working like a dream thus far (oh, alright, I only tried it on friday - but it did work well!). It goes roughly like this:
    1. half hour emails then switch off
    2. 1 and a half ours first priority project
    3. task processing
    - lunch -
    4. half hour emails - and switch off
    5. second priority project
    6. half hour tasks
    7 half hour emails
    Go home...

  2. I've tried this all last week, and it did work well. Feels a bit weird, and I occasionally had to fight the temptation of checking email again. But overall I'm really happy with my increased productivity, and will try to keep that up!

    The same also goes for Twitter, which I will not check constantly anymore. Loses a bit of its appeal, though, as it is more immediate than email.