Monday, July 06, 2009

My E-mail Addiction

I'm an addict.

Yep. Have been for too long. It's time for my recovery to begin.

No, I'm not talking about illegal substances. I'm talking e-mail. Lately I'm realizing I've become addicted to checking my e-mail. I daresay some of you can relate.

Maybe it's the instant society we live in. We want instant everything. And e-mail is nothing if it's not instant. But instant isn't always better. And in my case, it's eating away at my writing time---time I should be holding precious. It's time for a change! I've tried breaking this habit before and relapsed. However, I'm really going to try harder this time.

The key, I think, is taking it slow. Making changes one at a time. Last night I was reading over a post by Michael Hyatt (Chief Executive of Thomas Nelson Publishers). It's called Breaking E-mail Addiction, and it gave 3 practical steps we can all take to simplify our e-mail lives. I'll summarize them here, but you need to go read his full blog post.

  1. Work on your computer in “offline” mode.

  2. Only check e-mail twice a day.

  3. Don’t check e-mail first thing in the morning.

I already work in "offline' mode, but my problem was checking the emails incessantly throughout the day. So today is the first day I'm trying Michael's experiment. I'm only checking messages two times. And I waited until eleven o'clock to be my first.

Already I'm noticing a difference in the way I'm thinking. My thoughts are clearer. I'm more focused.

Pray for me. I want to keep this up! :)


Scott Somerville said...

I have two computers... my desktop "battlestation" has three screens and Microsoft Outlook. My laptop isn't set up to read my email.

The laptop forces me to concentrate on complex and tedious writing projects as long as the battery charge lasts. Then I bring it back to the "battlestation" and charge it up while I renew my email/Twitter addictions...

Batman said...

I have a shared computer, and it would be impractical for me to not check my email the one time in the morning when I receive it, however, the other two tips are good....

Deena said...

Father, I ask that You give CJ the strenght and determination to see this challenge through. I know what it's like, and I lift her up to You. Help her to be more productive, and to stay in touch with friends and family reasonably. Thank You for her friendship and for making us sisters.
In Jesus' name, amen.

CJ Raymer said...

It can be a long hard road to recovery, but, from one CJ to another, I'm with you. I believe in you. You can do it! ;-)

Anyhoo, three steps are much better than twelve! And, we can do ALL things through Him, even cutting back on our emails.


a_weak_rose said...

Work in offline mode???? *screaming in horror*

Shut down Windows mail while I write, that tells me of incoming messages the moment they arrive???? *shuddering*


Ok, I'm convicted. I'm going to shut down my email now and I will check it once more by the end of the day.

Cory Clubb said...

I would have to agree with you.
I constantly check my email, but that is just one bad habit. How about twitter, facebook, blogs, news sites, hobby sites, or any other updated material on the web? I can't seem to stay away. It does cut into my writing time. Nice idea to not check you email in the morning, I think I'll try that one and check it twice with in a day. Good luck all of us.

WordVixen said...

Two things:

1. Email should be an illegal substance. :-)

2. Where you said "holding precious" I thought you said "hiding precious" and had an immediate CJ as Golum image in my mind.

K.M. Weiland said...

My Internet decided this weekend would be a good time to crash. Having just come off two full days without Internet access, I'm still shocked at how much I managed to get done in that interim. Unfortunately, it's not an experience I'll be able to replicate very often, unless I want to face a solid week of catching up on Internet correspondence. :?

I do think the key to keeping all this technology under control is scheduling it and then sticking to the schedule. Sound like you're off to a god start!

Koala Bear Writer said...

I think a lot of us can identify with this! I've heard it suggested that you check email first thing in the morning, then turn it off and turn to other things. I tend to do this, so that if an editor has gotten back to one of my queries, I can quickly respond to them. Depends on how you work, I guess. :)

Wisewoman said...

Wow! I never thought of my email as an addiction. Now I will view it differently. Although, even if I don't open my laptop, I have my Blackberry. What's a body to do?

Shauna said...

I have had this before! I now only do email once or twice a week. I've lately been addicted to Facebook though and am trying to ween off that. I guess it is always something with the technology age we live in. Good luck with your quest and I hope we all find the balance we are striving for!
I truly enjoy your blog and I hope it continues to be a part of your new website.
God bless & happy writing!

Cindy said...

That sounds like a challenging endeavor to me. I applaud everyone out there, including you, who is trying to cut back on things that eat away at their writing time. I check my e-mail a lot and spend too much time blogging. I just started participating in Unplug Week, which is aimed at cutting out many of the things that keep us from writing productively. I made such progress last time and am looking forward to the next week! Good luck and prayers coming your way!

Wisewoman said...

I love the idea of unplug week. Haven't heard about it but it sounds good. I'm trying to set a timer preferably in the evening to do the email/fb thing. And I have to set a timer or I'll be there three hours.

Blinky St. James said...

I think I have this problem too, except I'm addicted to the internet in general! I'm hoping that in future, when I go to write, I can always remember to disconnect from my internet connection, because I know I'll get distracted...haha! Good luck! :)