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Email and Facebook
Email and Facebook
Productivity takes a hit when you're distracted. And let's face it, Facebook is one of the greatest distractions you have, whereas email has had a tendency to distract you at work. In short - you need some strict rules to deal with this kind of communication.

The computer goes "bing!" and your mind wants to know what it is all about. Even with the greatest of discipline, your brain knows that there is a reward in the form of dopamine for finding out what the bing was about. This is what makes it addictive and why it is so hard to resist.

But this interruption comes at a great cost to your productivity. If you check your email, you loose the context of what you were working on. If you don't check it, the nagging feeling of knowing that an email is waiting for you steals your attention.

So you give in, check the email, find out that you can't do anything about it right now anyway and leave it in your inbox.

And don't get me started on Facebook.

To overcome these issues, I have implemented the following policy for email and Facebook:

  1. I check mail only twice a day - morning and evening.
  2. I batch process my email according to the Inbox Zero philosophy.
  3. I check Facebook only once a day.
  4. Because I have my calendar in my mail reader, I have turned off notifications of new mail.
  5. I do not have Facebook or Facebook IM installed on my cell phone.
  6. If something is urgent - call me!
Of course, my cell phone policy is quite strict and migh seem excessively so. (New article on this subject later.)
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