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The Cost of Email Insanity

by Trish Bertuzzi on Tue, Jan 06, 2009

You have seen us blog on multiple occasions about the trend of Inside Sales Reps moving away from using the phone to communicate with prospects towards using email instead

If you have read our postings, and the fiery comments they sparked, you know that email as a form of communication is a raging debate!

Well, this weekend my niece recommended I read a book titled The 4 Hour Work Week.  It is about designing the life you want and I am sure I will read it and then post about it later....but I digress. 

I was reading the author's blog and he referenced an article in the New York Times titled Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast.  I read the article and holy crap....email truly is the enemy of productivity. 

Check out this excerpt:

A typical information worker who sits at a computer all day turns to his e-mail program more than 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times, according to one measure by RescueTime, a company that analyzes computer habits. The company, which draws its data from 40,000 people who have tracking software on their computers, found that on average the worker also stops at 40 Web sites over the course of the day.

The fractured attention comes at a cost. In the United States, more than $650 billion a year in productivity is lost because of unnecessary interruptions, predominately mundane matters, according to Basex. The firm says that a big chunk of that cost comes from the time it takes people to recover from an interruption and get back to work.

Wow....$650B...we could bail out a whole industry with that kind of cha-ching!

So, here is what I am going to do:
I am going to take the 1st step in the process of becoming more productive- actually the second step as taking our company back to Power Hours was the 1st. 

I am setting my email to send & receive only once an hour. Doesn't sound like much does it but before you think that, check and see how often your email is set to send/receive.  I bet it is every 10 - 15 minutes.  Think about that...you let yourself get interrupted every 10 - 15 minutes.  Why? 

I would love to hear from any readers that have already taken steps to cure their email addictions and lived to tell the tale!  Also, if you read Tim's book, what did you think?  Can we have the life we want by working 4 hours a week?

(Photo by daveboudreau)

Topics: inside sales management, technology

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