Are You An Email Addict?

Since starting my post graduate studies here in Japan I have been subscribing to a newsletter from a blog maintained by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Standford University. The blog is called TOMORROW’S PROFESSOR BLOG.

One of the newsletters that I received this week was about email addiction. That’s right, addiction to email. I must admit I did’nt know this thing was real until I started reading the newsletter and asking myself some of the questions in the article. I certainly diagnosed myself with email addiction! 

This week’s newsletter was written by Dr Mary McKinney, a clinical psychologist, of Successful Academic Coaching. And this an excerpt from that article.

“In my experience, email is the most insidious, seductive time-waster we face. In fact, for many of us, email is an pernicious addiction. Checking and replying to our electronically delivered messages seems like a necessary, innocuous occupation, but it  is also a major from of procrastination”

And she gave some tips to deal with email addiction:

  1. Stop checking your email first thing in the morning.
  2. Turn off any ‘you’ve got mail’ sounds or verbal cues.
  3. Close your email program between sessions.
  4. Monitor your addiction – how often do you check your mails? Is your habit severe? Do you take a quick peek dozens of times each working day? Is this the best use of your time?
  5. Decide on a reasonable number of times per day to check your messages.
  6. Choose specific time of the day to open your in-box.
  7. Cut back slowly – are you accustomed to letting your own work become sidelined by every messages that arrive?
  8. Is email checking the only way you permit yourself to take a break? Think of a more relaxing or rewarding small break from work.

So yes, I have diagnosed myself with email addiction! Laugh if you will.  And I am taking these tips seriously so that my work do not suffer.

How about you? 


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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