E-mail is a Jealous Mistress

Remember the days when you had to wait for a letter to come to you via the postal service?  Now, with e-mail and our portable devices that allow us to access e-mail all the time, not to mention e-mail’s cousin, Twitter, we have the capacity to be hyper-connected in a continuous stream of information sharing and communiques.  As leaders and business owners, however, we don’t have the luxury our teenagers do of the time to spend sending e-mail messages and “tweets” (the term for posts on Twitter) continuously, regardless of the proximity of our Blackberry, iPhone, or Treo.  E-mail is a jealous mistress…she will take as much of your time as you give her and she’ll try to take more!  Leaders must create space for e-mail and more importantly, create space for no e-mail in the day.  Boundaries, baby!  E-mails that are moving fast can be dealt with as they pop up.  The ones requiring thoughtful responses or action on your part can be scheduled into regular segments of the day so that you can handle them with the care and respect they and the other person deserve. We know we need to slow down in order to speed up, and e-mail is a speed bump in the road that often rises up to the size of a hurdle.  Speaking of speed bumps, I’m curious to take a poll: How many times have you found yourself e-mailing and texting while driving in the last week?  Let me know!

Comments (1)

Nice to have someone of your success and in your business not seduced by the lure of being connected 24/7. While we are reading Twitters and checking out email constantly, we are not leaving time to read books, take a long hike or just sit and think.
We’re losing something precious with this frenetic desire to connect constantly. I want to know if Marshall Goldsmith (one of your links on this blog under “Leadership Resources”) checks his Tweets and Email in his car. If so, maybe I’ll think about it (while on a hike).

Leave a comment