New devices make it easier than ever for professionals to get stuck in unproductive activities that damage their peace of mind.
One of the more destructive habits that they enable is the ability to check email at all times during the day and night. In the thinking of the 2Time Management system, it enables a user to Capture all the time.
While this is very convenient, it’s a little like having a cell phone nearby all the time. Most of us have learnt that a ringing cell does not need to be answered just because it is ringing. This is a sure-fire way to at the least a drop in productivity, and at the very most, a certain insanity.
In other words, having the ability to download email at any moment only means that one must be more disciplined in capturing, not less, in order to preserve one’s productivity. To protect an email in-box from becoming overloaded involves resisting the temptation to allow it to become filled with email, and to only allow email to enter at scheduled times in the day. This discipline is critically important to observe when one has possession of a mobile email device.
For example, here are some bad times to check email on a mobile device.
- just before entering a meeting (a critical email is bound to arrive just when you can’t reply)
- shortly before driving (you’ll want to resist the temptation to drive while sending email (DWSE)
- before falling asleep (there goes another calm night of uninterrupted bliss with the need to fire off a 3:00 a.m. reply)
These are just three examples, but there are many more. Email in-boxes, voicemail in-boxes, paper pads, digital voice recorders – these capture devices should never be allowed to overflow, in order to protect one’s sanity.
Email should not be downloaded unless there is sufficient time to perform the job of emptying it at that moment, otherwise the user is planting the seeds of his own destruction. Using a phone or PDA to download email at random, unplanned times of the day only automates a practice that destroys productivity.