The Road to Burnout is Paved With Context Switching

Having a lot of work on my plate is fine. Meeting deadlines is fine. Planning long term projects is fine. Debugging code is fine. Writing detailed feedback is fine. Pairing with someone to teach them something is fine (fun even!). Interpersonal conflict is (unexpectedly) mostly fine. It’s when all of these things happen within an afternoon that I find myself reminiscing for the days of silently, calmly designing or coding for 6 hours at a time.

via Brad Frost

Your inbox isn’t the world’s todo list

Wes Bos probably gets more email than most. So, if his Breakout Email Management System works for him, it should work for almost anyone.

A lot of what he has to say mirrors the Getting Things Done methodology. My own task management system is a sort of corrupted version of GTD, but I still subscribe to one of the main tenets: Don’t use email as a TODO list.

To that end, I wrote about about getting things done with Outlook over 10 years ago*, and still follow most of that advice today–when I’m forced to use Outlook anyway.

via Brad Frost

* 10 years, WTF?

Here’s an interesting bit from some research on how often people check their email, reported in The New York Times:

Although the only thing we changed about the participants’ lives was how often they checked their email, we observed a significant reduction in stress when they checked email less frequently.

The article is worth a read, they delve into why this might be the case.

My advice is, at minimum, turn off all of your email alerts. This isn’t an option for everyone, but I think most of us will do just fine by dealing with email only a few times throughout the day.