A Week Without Email

JANUARY 13, 2014

A Week Without Email

Last fall, in order to disconnect from the Internet on my holidays in New York, I decided to deactivate my email during a week, from the 11th to the 18th of October.

First, I removed my email account from the iOS mail app settings, so I would not get any alerts whenever I got wifi connection during the trip.

Second, I programmed an automated reply for incoming mail, so people who emailed me knew I was on holiday. And last, I gave an alternative contact to some of my clients, so they could reach me in case they had an emergency.

I got back home from the trip the morning of the 18th. That night, at 3 am, I checked my email. My Inbox had a total of 167 new emails, just from that week. 75 out of those 167 were classified by Gmail as social emails, from Twitter and other services.

It took me 23 minutes to go through all of the email. How much time would I had spent looking at each email as they entered my Inbox during the trip? Surely more than 23 minutes.

It is not always possible, but when it is, services like email should be processed in batches. As I wrote previously, email can also be filtered in order to prioritize some remitters from others in order to avoid getting distracted with email.

How often do you check your email?

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