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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Email Sucks Time at Work, Wait…I Have to Check Something

Email and other digital communications like instant messaging are a drain on productivity according to a new study.

More and more, we're running to check out inboxes, send instant messages to our friends and sending Twitters to large social networks. The more we do that, the study found, the less we're actually accomplishing.

From the LA Times:

"E-mail is used as a self-validation tool by people to procrastinate and to re-create activity versus productivity," he says. (4-Hour Workweek author Tim) Ferriss, who says he used to receive "close to 300 e-mails per hour," is now checking his personal account only twice a day.

It's hard to argue with at least part of the study's findings: We are less productive when we are simply engaged in communication. And maybe we have become pre-occupied with ideas and tasks of a less relevant form.

Comcast certainly thinks so. It just ponied up $125 million for DailyCandy, an email marketing firm that delivers the latest happenings about food, fashion and entertainment to a mostly female audience. (That isn't to suggest this is simply a female phenomenon; please check the fantasy football groups that deliver copious amounts of important information to a predominantly male audience.)

The question is this: Is the digital communication really measurable in a one-to-one manner, or is reality that we are six degrees away from anyone make us more efficient in what we do?

If we can more easily and more quickly find answers because of our expanding social networks, that is good; if we are more easily and more quickly losing track of our work, that is bad.

Which are you?

By Brad at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

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