How to Answer E-mail Without Going Crazy

800px-Benua_BakstMy friends often write to me about ways they have found to apply the principles of the book Return to Order. They especially mentioned the ways they avoid the “frenetic intemperance” of daily life where everything is rushed and out of balance.

One friend has a special way of dealing with e-mail. I am not saying that it will work for everyone, but it did work for him. He complained that e-mail was driving him crazy and he wanted to free himself from its constant bombardment and distractions.

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He did the following experiment. He printed out thirteen e-mails, some of them very complex. He then wrote out the answers to these e-mails in the house without access to the Internet. He then typed them into a text document. Finally, he copied and pasted the answers and sent them out.

After the experiment, my friend reported on the results as follows:

Time to write out the answers to the thirteen e-mails on paper – one hour and twenty-seven minutes;

Time to type thirteen emails to a text document – thirty-seven minutes;

Time to copy and paste (and look for addresses and other information that needed to be inserted in text) – thirty-one minutes;

Total time – two hours and thirty-five minutes.

He found that this new way of answering e-mails offline actually saved him time since it probably would have taken at least six hours with all the distractions that he normally encounters online.

Subscription11As I said, it may not work for everyone, but it is a way one person used to keep e-mail from driving him crazy.

Perhaps you have found a better way?


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