We tried to talk it over – but the emails got in the way!

I have taken a week off over the Easter break – haven’t gone away but decided to stay at home and catch up with some writing and a multitude of little jobs that have been waiting for a convenient moment to complete (and will probably still be waiting when I go back to the office next week!).

Whilst the break from the normal routine is welcomed, unfortunately there is still the need to constantly check emails and in fact the first two days of my “holiday” were taken up entirely with dealing with urgent matters. ….And that, of course, is the problem with 24/7 contactability. You have to be extremely disciplined to cut yourself off completely …and I am afraid I am not that strong willed.

In many respects, email is a failed technology. We have all experienced the return to the office after a short absence to be faced with hundred of emails which take days to sort out. A large majority of these are trivia and unnecessary. The email from the colleague sitting at the desk next to yours is a sad reflection on our art of communication.

And now we are faced with so many different forms of communication – email, text and now Google Wave, IM and a myriad of others. Used efficiently, email is a marvellous work aid – used inefficiently, its a curse.

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One Response

  1. Couldn’t agree more. It is now so easy to spend your day responding to emails or even worse, as John Jantsch recently put it when asked by his son what he does for a living “I spend my days deleting emails”!

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