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Blog: Making the most of your Time
Time to Change Your Email Habits

Are you addicted to Email? No, I'm sure you're just really good about checking, re-checking, refreshing, re-checking and checking your Email. Okay, maybe you're not addicted, but you find yourself spending a lot of time checking Email and you wish it didn't eat up so much of your time. You're not alone. 
A recent survey by AOL finds:
  • 15% of Americans describe themselves as "addicted to Email"
  • 40% say it is "very" or "somewhat" important to them to consider email accessibility when planning a vacation
  • Respondents who use portable devices has doubled since 2004, and as a result the average user checks about five times a day:
    • 43% keep their Email device nearby when they're sleeping so they can hear incoming mail
    • 59% check Email in bed
    • 53% check Email in the bathroom
    • 37% check Email while they're driving
  • 63% admit to checking their personal Email at work, on average of three times
I don't know about you but I'm slightly appalled by these results. First, I'm amazed by how often people check Email. Second, I now have a terrible visual of people checking Email in the bathroom. Finally, don't even get me started about the unsafe practice of Email while behind the wheel.
At first glance, this may seem like a technology issue. However, I think this is a basic time management issue. With all the new forms of communication (Email, text, IM, e-fax, etc.) there is no protocol for how to handle the bombardment of communication. You could literally spend an entire day responding to electronic forms of communication and not get any productive work done. However, just because you can doesn't mean you should. I think people forget that Email isn't typically urgent. If somebody really wanted to get a hold of you, they could call you and talk live. Remember that concept?
Here are my time saving tips for Email:
  • Check Email twice a day for 30 minutes is plenty (set a timer if you have to)
  • To avoid the Email build up, file Emails as you check and respond to them
  • Like so many basic decisions, ask yourself 'can I deal with this now (in less than 5 minutes) or later?'
  • Tackle the easy Emails first and file or delete as needed.
  • Respond to Emails that are more of a priority first
  • Be selective about reading 'Forwarded' Emails, these are a huge time drain
Email is convenient and easy but it's also a time drain. Be smart about Email and start to break your addiction. You only have time to gain.

posted on: 11/21/2007 9:30:00 AM by Brita Bolane
category: Time Management

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Making the most of your Time

by Brita Bolane

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About Brita:

Brita Bolane is the President of pare it down, inc. a professional organizing service in the San Diego area. Brita helps people streamline their lives through residential organization and time management consultation. Brita's first introduction to time management was when she attended college on a full atheltic scholarship (volleyball). She went on to play professionally on the beach and in Italy. Today, Brita is a business owner, wife and mother and understands the challenges of keeping a busy schedule and an organized life.

Brita's Website:


Time Savers

  • evite
    If you don't have time to get traditional invitations out in the mail, this is a great resource for quick internet invitations. They also have information and suggestions on entertaining.
  • shutterfly
    Digital, it's the way to go. Sites like shutterfly help you organize and arrange photos without having to print them first. They offer free, unlimited photo storage and if you do want to print pictures, you can print them to your local Target store. In addition, you can create wonderful gifts for family and friends in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Sunday
    Sunday is a virtual assistant service. Depending on how busy your life is, this could be a useful service and a real time saver. I love the concept but have not tried it yet.

Resources for Life

  • Martha Stewart
    I am a long time fan of Martha Stewart. Her website, magazines and TV program offer so many different and fun ideas. It's inspirational on many levels.

Tasty Treats

  • TasteSpotting
    Interesting site that people can post food ideas and blogs, recipes or places to buy the best tasting treats. The pictures are mouth watering!

Technology to love

  • oovoo
    I'm a big fan of face to face or internet to internet phone calls. Our family does this and it's amazing how much more you get out of the call when you see the person you're talking to. oovoo is a free service you can download to your computer that let's you have video converstations.
  • skype
    skype is an internet based phone service that let's you call computer to computer for free! Who doesn't love to talk for free?!

Books I Love

  • The Success Principles
    Jack Canfield is the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for Soul series. This is his book on how to achieve your goals in an effective and measurable way. I really like this book
  • Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Author David Allen provides a great approach to managing all your to do lists and how to focus on the most important tasks each day.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
    Timothy Ferris writes a revolutionary book and makes you rethink how you use your time.

Related Products:

The Stress Invasion

Project Kickstart 5 Planning Software

Triple Bel Timer

Flex Tube Split Tubing


Glossary Of Time Management Terms

Cable Turtle Cord Reducer

Wire Marker Labeling Kit

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