Thursday, February 10, 2005

Email Hell

Email was designed to help speed communications. Where does email put a crimp in your productivity?


Anonymous said...

I check my email first thing in the morning, respond to urgent requests, and turn outlook OFF until after my morning snack. Read my mail while munching on pear & cheese, respond, and turn the thing off until after lunch. This has helped me a lot. I agree with turning off the sound. I used to have a Star Trek Tri-corder sound for incoming mail. Now there's silence. Much better.

Lalita said...

I've set my system to only get my email a couple of times during the day. If I'm expecting an email before the scheduled run, I can simply press the SEND/RECEIVE button to fire it up.

Lalita said...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 by Tobi Elkin

From the "duh" files comes a new finding that U.S. workers waste more than two hours a day - much of it surfing the Web. The finding comes from an online survey conducted by America Online and

The survey -- conducted online, naturally -- via America Online's Find a Job site and's Salary Wizard, collected results from more than 10,000 workers.

According to the survey, the average employee admitted to spending 2.09 hours each day online, not including lunch. That's apparently more than double the one hour per day expected by human resource managers. Sheesh, we sure do spend more than ONE MEASLY HOUR a day online at MediaPost! We are online constantly and we bet you are too.

"A certain amount of slacking off is already built into the salary structure," Bill Coleman, senior vice president at, said in a an interview with TechWeb. "Our survey results show that workers on average are wasting a little more than twice what their employers expect. That's a startling figure."

Of course the top time-wasting activity, according to the survey, was surfing the Internet for personal use. The survey found that more than 44 percent of those polled said they surfed, sent personal e-mail, engaged in non-work-related instant messaging, or played online games during work hours. Socializing with co-workers was the second biggest time-waster at 23 percent.

Apparently 33 percent of the workers polled said they frittered time away on the Web because they didn't have enough work to do. Gee, we wonder, what's that like?

And interestingly, employees who were born between 1950 and 1959, reported wasting just 0.7 hours per day, while those workers born from 1980 to 1985 said they wasted a full two hours a day. This finding, to be sure, confirms the Minute's observations from the work trenches.

Now, we don't know about what goes on in your workplace, but we can assure you that here at MediaPost, we use the Web strictly as a research and communications tool. Although we have been spending more time on the phone of late, e-mail has replaced business phone chats. It has overwhelmed us at times and means we are spending more time than ever on elaborate e-mails. It's just the way things are today. It's also a reflection of our profession - multimedia journalism.

While the Minute isn't sitting around playing desktop video games, we have, on occasion, spent time ordering tickets, checked the weather in the state we were heading to for the weekend, made airline, bus, and restaurant reservations, checked out photos of baby cousins Ava and Maya, and engaged in spontaneous non-work-related instant messaging. Yesterday we chatted with our West Coast-based copy and columns editor about flea markets in Seattle.

Tobi Elkin is Executive Editor, MediaPost.

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