Monday, February 19, 2007

Compulsively Checking Email

Mary McKinney, a psychologist in Chapel Hill, has another terrific column on her blog regarding the academic life, and how to manage (or mismanage) it, entitled Email Addiction. Here's a the whole thing.

In my experience, email is the most insidious, seductive time-waster we face.
In fact, for many of us, email is a pernicious addiction.
Checking and replying to our electronically-delivered messages seems like a necessary, innocuous occupation, but it is also a major form of procrastination.
Sometimes we open our email browser with the intention of sending someone a specific message. Often, though, we are checking our email because, well, that is what we do. We check our inbox many times a day, even compulsively.
When I am giving workshops to faculty or graduate students, I take a poll of how frequently participants check their email. Everyone seems to check their email several times, and the majority of academics admit to more than a dozen incursions per day.
How much would you weigh if you ate a piece of chocolate every time you check your email? Would obesity - or even diabetes - be the result?

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