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?
– Some brainiacs figured out how to emulate human organs on a chip, so animal testing might become unnecessary. If it works, that would be crazy-cool. Aaaaand, way easier for the robots to someday program humans with designer drugs.
– Why would you 3D-print a performance car? Just because you can? Nope. There is a far better reason.
– Two words: hover board.