Friday, January 2, 2015

E-mail Fasts

One of my new year's resolutions for 2015 is to fast from e-mail every Saturday. Now that I have posted this, my co-bloggers and readers can keep me accountable. Currently, I probably check my e-mail 20+ times a day, every day -- a habit formed during law firm life.  

I thought about fasting from the internet/electronics entirely on Saturdays, and I am still going to try to avoid the internet/electronics on Saturdays as much as possible, but I wanted to set a realistic goal. 

An acquaintance of mine in New York City, Paul Miller, went without the internet for an entire year (with less promising results than he had hoped). While I remember a time before the internet -- and a time when the internet was so slow it was almost useless -- it is hard for me to imagine going without the internet for a week, much less for a year.  That said, I think it healthy to loosen the electronic leash a bit every once in a while.  

I'd also like to cut back the number of times I check e-mail and the amount of time I spend responding to e-mails in general. If any readers, have suggestions on the appropriate amount of time on e-mail (for a professor), I would be interested. Obviously, it may vary a bit from week to week, but I am thinking about moving to checking e-mail twice a day during the week for 15 minutes each. I think this will allow me to continue being "responsive" to students and colleagues,  but will also free up a great deal of time. Most of the longer e-mails I write could probably be much shorter or would be better as conference calls or in-person meetings. 

What are your 2015 resolutions, or are you among the roughly 55% who do not set new year's resolutions?

Sadly, according to one study, only about 8% of people keep their new year's resolutions. For those of you who have set new year's resolutions, here is Professor Cass Sunstein with advice for keeping resolutions. Also, StickK.com (co-created by Yale University economics professor Dean Karlan) is a website where you can create commitment contracts, appoint a referee, and set the stakes for achieving or failing to reach your goals.    

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/business_law/2015/01/e-mail-fasts.html

Business School, Haskell Murray, Law School, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink

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