A Bold Experiment: Email Scheduling

07.06.11 Posted in Working Mom by

I’ve decided to try a bold experiment: Scheduling email time. You see, I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately (which is a good thing), so I sat down to write my schedule out, and plan my days down to the minute. (In and of itself, this is bold.) I got to thinking about my mornings, and realized that usually a good 2 hours are eaten up with checking my various emails and Facebook, so that by the time I actually sit down to work, it’s 10am. Then, whenever there’s a lull, a writer’s block, or a time when I need a break, I cruise by email again. In fact, I find myself cruising email about once every 45 minutes. And thanks to my iPhone, I’m checking it after I pick my daughter up from daycare, while we’re in the park, while sitting at stop lights, and while waiting for dinner to cook. In fact, I’m so accessible to people that I find myself worrying about work and all the calls or emails I need to send when I should be getting my much-needed relaxation and connecting with my family. 
So here’s my plan: I’ve asked my husband to remove the email function from my phone. Not being terribly tech-savvy, I don’t know how he did this, and I don’t want to know, because I might be too tempted to turn it back on. For the next week, I will only be checking email from my computer at three times during the day – 8:30am, 12pm, and 3pm. The rest of the workday, big surprise, will be devoted to work. I know…novel concept.
I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. And I urge you to keep me accountable! In fact, I also urge you to try the same sort of thing. Examine how much time you spend on emailing or the Internet, and be honest with yourself about how much you could really get done, and more important, how much more at peace you’d feel, if you started setting some boundaries. 
Wish me luck!

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