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I. Apologies for the delay.
The Atlantic points out in a recent story that around the clock availability and immediate responses on email aren’t good for anyone. These thoughts fall in line with the idea that there are no prizes for knowing every detail about every news cycle (which I have spoken about in the past). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loathe email and how much of it is such a huge waste of time. I don’t think I could have a corporate job because of my unwillingness to be available on email all of the time. (I’m also unwilling to have meetings all day as well, which precludes me from any big company — not that I want to work for a big company.) The more quickly you respond to emails the more people expect you to reply to everything immediately. The more email you send the more you get back. It’s all just a vicious cycle. And we’re just talking about email. Slack is an entirely new and pointless layer that has been added to our lives. I want nothing to do with work Slack life.
Some thoughts on email and work/life balance:
You don’t owe people timely responses. My philosophy is to decide what’s important and what is not. Then I will respond in a timely matter to the things which are important. The other stuff is a big maybe, but I don’t feel pressure to get back to you.
Inbox zero is bullsh/t and pointless.
You don’t get anything for being great on email. There’s certainly a professional duty to be responsive but if this is your main value add it’s probably time to rethink your strategy.
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