I have decided to commit to reading emails at least once per day assuming that I am "in my office", i.e. not on holiday. This will usually happen first thing in the morning so any emails you send during the day may only be read the next work day morning. My automatic requests for emails to be delivered every 15 minutes have therefore been switched off.
The reasons I have made this decision are:
1) to keep my stress levels down;
2) to limit interruptions.
I have been trying this for the past week and it has been working wonders. One of the things I have noticed is that I now have mini-meditations and tea breaks! For example, in the past, when I was waiting for the computer to do something, or if I needed a break, I would read emails. This often messed up my concentration - and actually didn't speed up my work. It meant my mind was always "active" and never had a break.
IMHO, interruptions from phone, cell phones, Skype, Facebook, emails, etc, are the bane of our lives. They don't give us the concentration time we need and often reduce our effectiveness when we need to concentrate on other things. This doesn't mean putting one's head in the sand and ignoring these conveniences, but it means making use of these modern appliances at and for the appropriate time.
Also considering that I only have about 2 weeks of chargeable time at the moment, I am often not at my computer as I am spending my "free" time concentrating on building a Centre of Green Learning. This means that I often cannot respond to emails with the same speed as I used to as I am busy on other work. For those of you who don't know, the Centre of Green Learning will show "house scale permaculture" or "house scale farming", the idea being to take the "green" information that is available in magazines, newspapers, the internet, etc, and turn it into knowledge by having a place in Cape Town where people can see for themselves how to do these things. Permaculture comes from the two words Permanent Agriculture and is about "cradle to cradle" rather than "cradle to grave" food production, seeking to eliminate (by reuse) waste whilst at the same time growing organic food. The food includes fruit and vegetables, chickens, eggs, and fish production (aquaponics). "House Scale" refers to showing people what they can do in their back gardens or on their balconies assuming they live in flats.
If you are interested, read about aquaponics here. There is a good description of how the full recycling cycle works on "The Concept" page.
If you send me an email and you need a quick response, please sms or phone me and I will deal with the email as fast as I can.
Software Engineer at Orbital Decisions
Chairman and Cofounder at Free Life On Earth
Renewable Energy DIY Expert at Orbital Renewable Energy