Thursday, March 15, 2012

Email and dirty dishes

The ever-repeated quandary: is time better spent dealing with emails or actually doing work? When email exceeds my bandwidth I have a depressing accumulation mounting in my inbox, making the start of each day an ordeal. When I give priority to email, the day is spent doing small routine tasks and there is no sense of doing anything of actual value. It's a recurring problem. The problem that will not go away and that only gets worse with delays! It's like dirty dishes piling up in the sink.


  1. What we need is an email-washer.

    1. Actually, come to think of it, my analogy with dirty dishes may be a recycling of something I've heard somewhere else.

      Right now I'm trying to go through my email folder, but the incoming rate is exceeding the outgoing rate. :(

  2. Typically I do my dishes (and my email answering) every night. Of course the fact that dirty dishes at home are usually generated by just four people makes my washing bandwidth pretty small.
    As to email, if that's of any help, I notice that email messages left in my mailbox more than a week tend to become irrelevant (other events usually make them obsolete ;-)

  3. Whenever I go away I put on my vacation program and DO NOT read ANY email.
    when I come back I can usually deal with the 300 or so emails in MUCH shorter
    time than if I had done them as they came in. You'd be surprised how much
    email is NOT important. So one solution is to only check email X times a day
    where X is small. (If you are teaching this may not be quite possible.)

    bill t.


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