Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Email Diet

Procrastination technique # 1: Check my email
Procrastination technique # 2: Check my email

Hey, if I find something that works, I stick with it.

When I wake up, checking my email is a prelude to starting the day.  Before my head hits the pillow at night, one last check.  Oh, and did I mention the several times in between?  Increasingly, I've become aware of what a giant waste of time this is. 

First of all, I'm just not that important.  We're not talking about emails from senators, people.  We're talking the Groupon deal of the day and a notice that my new contacts have shipped.  Also, the process of checking to make sure nothing is new is getting more complicated.  I've checked my work email, so as long as I'm here I'll take a quick peek at staff news and my home account.  Oh, better check Facebook too--real  quick, only take a minute.

In addition, at least one email will inevitably lead me off on a tangent.  I receive a list of the contents of my weekly vegetable delivery. Hmmm, beets?  Three websites and 20 minutes later, I've found a lovely recipe for a roasted beet and fennel salad.   The email says my library books are due soon...which reminds me to check the library website catalog to see if The Book Thief is available but it's checked out.  I try to put it on hold but I can't log in because I can't remember my pin number.  I thought I had it written down in this notebook but there are so many different usernames and passwords in here that I can't find it.  Maybe I should type these up and organize them....

I'm sorry, where was I?   I may admit my procrastination problem but my heightened awareness has done little to curb this addictive habit.  Now that I have a flexible schedule with work, my problem seems to be getting worse.  I have to be self disciplined about getting things done and I mean to start that project... right after I check my email.  Enough is enough.  I'm going on an email diet.  Starting right now I am going to limit my online activity to once per day for the next 3 weeks.  Honestly, my hands started shaking as I wrote that.  I think I feel a headache coming on. 

Be nice to me.  I've heard withdrawl is not pretty.

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