Most of us consider email a key part of our everyday personal and professional lives, but blogger and academic Cal Newport argues that your email dependence might be more knee-jerk convention than reality.
Newport is quick to point out that an email-free life is truly impossible for some (if your boss requires you to use email, what choice do you have?), but he also believes that many of our email “needs” can be better satisfied in other ways. For example, if you’re worried about being left out of the loop on the seemingly endless supply of CCs:
Very good! These are time wasters. If someone wants to put something on your plate they have to take the time to get in touch with you by phone, or in person, and explain, clearly, what is needed. If they need to check in on an ongoing project, the same holds: phone or in person. The result: less ambiguous crap. More focus.
Every inbox you maintain presents a significant requirement in terms of time and attention (that includes Facebook and Twitter), and as much as I like the idea of ridding myself of my email in theory, email remains a vital part of my work. Still, if you’re a glutton for inboxes, you might consider applying some of the same questions of worth and necessity to some of your less essential inboxes. You may not be able to ditch email, but I bet you could find some non-essential inbox to ditch.
E-Mail Zero: Imagining Life Without E-Mail [Study Hacks]