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How Do You Avoid Email? - Dilbert Blog

How Do You Avoid Email?

Nearly everything I need to do for my job involves opening email. I even open email to look for ideas before drawing a comic. And this is a big problem because there is no way to look at email without getting dragged down some unrelated rabbit hole.

I don’t know about you, but my email is almost always about something that needs to be done right away. Maybe it involves a group of people waiting to nail down a meeting time. I don’t want to keep five people in a state of uncertainty until I can check my calendar, so I do it right away. And then I see another email, and another. Soon I forget why I opened email in the first place.

That’s just one example. This morning I am avoiding my email because there will be at least five “right now” tasks that will assault my eyes and keep me from my priorities. Unfortunately, I do need to open my email to get an idea for today’s comic.

What the hell do I do? If I don’t open email, I might have no idea for a comic today. If I do, I will be sucked into the seven levels of email Hell. One distraction after another will leap at me like angry hornets.

Email, as currently designed, simply doesn’t work. It is a priority-scrambler. It turns order into disorder. No longer do you go from A to B. Now you must visit G, F,Q, and L and hope you remember you were aiming for B.

Anyway, my question is this:  How do you deal with this sort of email distraction problem at work? You must see as many email “emergencies” as I do every time you open email. I need a trick. Tell me what you do.

I have tried limiting email to an hour a day, but that leaves too many people hanging. And my job is the type that doesn’t lend itself to delegation. 

I need a solution. Whattaya got?

Scott

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