SETH WERKHEISER

The Inbox is Work

Published (updated: ) in Email.

Love this, in the most depressing away ever…

… office workers have come to think of email as non-work, or partial-work, or at least work that shouldn’t necessary be compensated, or performed during work hours. In her study of office workers, she hears a similar explanation over and over again for why employees spend their Sunday nights and weekday evenings attending to their inboxes: it would be wasteful to spend the workday emailing, and clearing an inbox ahead of time means the workday itself is less stressful.

how email became work

I make a point during the week to close all my email (and Slack) to work on specific tasks. If I don’t, the allure will be there to check, to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

People will say, “I HAVE TO ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE!”

But you’re not available when you’re at the dentist. Or in a work meeting / zoom call, right? When you take your animal to the vet. When you’re driving.

Those are all things where you need to be fully present, yet doing our work – the thing we get PAID TO DO, to earn a living – we allow ourselves to be semi-present, constantly being distracted by incoming notifications.