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E-mail: Does it Actually Increase Productivity?

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E-mail is a part of everyday life. It’s an essential part. We’re constantly waiting on a response from someone before completing a task, and telling ourselves we’ll respond as soon as possible to that pending message. Chapters 6 & 7 of The Prosperous Leader discuss and expand upon this exactly problem – time management and smartphones in the work place.

Most people are familiar with time management, but time management is not only about being on time. It’s also about working to eliminate time wasters, the things on our to-do list that deceive us into believing that we’re being productive. We need to eliminate them completely in order to be more efficient. The more our day controls us, the more we need to control our day.

Ron Friedman from the Harvard Business Review does a great job of bringing together my thoughts on technology in the workplace: “Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email…disrupts our concentration and saps our focus. Each time we return to our initial task, we use up valuable cognitive resources reorienting ourselves.

So…is it worth a decrease in production rate to continuously check your e-mail? Or, do you think a “check 3-times-a-day” method would work better for you?

excepts in this article from the Harvard Business Review: The Cost of Continually Checking Your Email