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Does technology make life easier?

August 15, 2011

There was an interesting article in my local newspaper, The Times Leader,  the other day titled, “Today’s technology makes work easier…and can drive you nuts.” The author’s point is that because people get so overwhelmed by the amount of e-mails/texts, they “sacrifice pleasantries and small talk for efficiency’s sake, which can rub many people the wrong way.” He goes on to give some advice about how to deal with this. Taking the time to compose an e-mail that won’t be taken the wrong way does take more time and  e-mail seems to be sucking up more and more of my time. When I arrive at work, I turn on my computer and login to my e-mail account. Invariably, I have several e-mails where the sender expects a reply so I dash off a few responses. In the meantime, more e-mails start to come in and people to whom I replied are asking new questions. Once I login to my e-mail,  I leave it open on my desktop for the day so this continues all day long. At one of the many time management workshops that I’ve attended over the years, someone suggested doing the exact opposite of what I do. Instead of checking e-mail, get right to work on a project. Once you have finished that project, or need a break take 10 minutes to deal with e-mail, then log off. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but I never really implemented this practice. I’m going to give it a try this week. OK, so now I’m going to log out of my e-mail and check in again around lunch. So if you’ve sent me an e-mail and are waiting for a reply, look for it this afternoon.  I’ll keep you posted about how it works for me.

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