Don't Check Your Email!
by Clint Watson on 6/19/2007 7:42:53 AM
OK, I admit in engaging in a bit of hyperbole. I should rephrase, Don't check your email too much.
How much is too much? More than twice a day is probably too much. My suggestion is to check it once in the morning and once in the afternoon. For an artist, I would even venture to say that ONCE a day is enough. You should be in your studio creating art anyway.
In many ways, email is a time waster. We're all addicted to it. I think we like it because checking and answering email doesn't really require much brainpower, but it makes us feel like we're doing something productive. For the most part, this is an illusion. You'll find your much more productive if you unleash yourself from your inbox and get on with the business of real work.
Now I'll confess: this is easier said than done. Some days I find myself slipping back into old habits and trying to keep my inbox clear at all times. Most days, however, I am now down to three checks a day - roughly at 9:00am, 12:00pm, and 4:00pm -- I DO have an excuse though, I run an internet services company -- as an artist...you don't.
Here's a trick that works, especially if you use an email application like outlook or Thunderbird, after you check your email, simply CLOSE your email program. And then promise yourself that you will not OPEN it again until your next scheduled check.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS: You'll learn if you don't check your email too much, a lot of "problems" resolve themselves. I often now have a series of three or four messages in my inbox from colleagues asking about some particluar matter followed up a few minutes later by a "oh, never mind I figured it out on my own" message -- those are four messages I didn't waste time responding to and the "problem" has already been resolved!
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