We’re always talking about connectivity and how it really is necessary to leave the BlackBerry stagnant for a bit. There’s someone out there who vehemently agrees, and has gone so far to produce a 12-step program to getting over email addiction.
That someone in question is Marsha Egan, an executive coach in Pennsylvania who’s devised a plan to teach people how to manage the electronic tool. I’m excited to note that I’ll be having an electronic sit-down with Ms. Egan in the next couple of days to talk to her about the dozen steps. The interview should be posted by the end of the week.
The first of Egan’s 12 steps is “admit that e-mail is managing you. Let go of your need to check e-mail every 10 minutes.”
Other steps include “commit to keeping your inbox empty,” “establish regular times to review your e-mail” and “deal immediately with any e-mail that can be handled in two minutes or less but create a file for mails that will take longer.”
Egan says she hosts no 12-step meetings but is planning a monthly teleconference for “e-mailers anonymous.”
On average, workers who receive an e-mail take four minutes to read it and recover from the interruption before they can resume working productively, Egan said.
She also recommends checking e-mails not more than three or four times a day.
Some employees resist the lure of e-mail during the regular workday, only to find themselves putting in extra hours at home to clear the backlog, she said. One of Egan’s clients said he had 3,600 e-mails in his inbox.
I know well aware that I’m addicted to email – I’ve got no doubt about it. I can only assume that a lot of you are the same way. Go ahead, don’t be scared. Have a story? Share. I’m not here to judge.