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Merlin Mann | Jun 5 2006
Couldn't track down the source material from the UK productivity study referenced in this press release, but, if they're accurate, some of the data are interesting to say the least.
Seems conservative to me, but -- you know -- I'm a terrific karmasuck about these things.
Also intriguing are these bullets on "average times wasted each day:"read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 17 2006
I was a busboy in junior high and high school and a waiter in college, and I hardily concur that the behavior of a restaurant patron can unintentionally reveal loads about their character.read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 10 2006
Ever wonder what all those electronic poking sticks might be doing to your attention span?
Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell has identified a late-onset cousin of ADD that he calls "Attention Deficit Trait," a "condition induced by modern life" and the endless "chatter" generated by our beepy devices and interrupt-driven lifestyles.
I don't know enough to evaluate the rigor of this theory in the eyes of a researcher or physician, but this CNET interview with Hallowell is filled with enough right-on quotes to have me nodding along all day.
(read through, after the cut, for our first Mindfulness Exercise)read more »
Merlin Mann | Apr 6 2006
Merlin Mann | Mar 27 2006
This post is part of the Inbox Zero series.
The truth is that you probably can take the average email inbox -- even a relatively neglected one -- from full to zero in about 20 minutes. It mostly depends on how much you really want to be done with it. The dirty little secret, of course, is that you don't do it by responding to each of those emails but by ruthlessly processing them. Is that how you thought this worked? Answering 500 emails in 20 minutes? Jeez, it's no wonder you're such a mess. Your cognitive dissonance is epic.
Here's the deal: your email has been accumulating because you don't have the time to answer it properly, which is certainly reasonable and accurate. You also fear losing track of the email you haven't responded to -- that it will fall between the cracks. This fear is also reasonable and accurate. But you're just as keenly aware that with the backlog of email you have plus the increasing rate of incoming messages you receive each day, you can't possibly ever catch up. This, sadly, is also entirely reasonable and accurate. It's all reasonable and it's all accurate, but come on: something's gotta give.
You rewrite the rules. You adapt at a higher level. You have to, or else the Klingons will overwhelm you with their superior fire power and brute force -- and then your email would remain unanswered for eternity. Think how sad that would be.read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 20 2006
Last Tuesday, I joined OSAF's Mimi Yin to talk about GTD at the monthly BayCHI program down at PARC. A podcast of both our presentations plus our slides are now available for download from the program page. Many thanks to Steve Williams for getting it all up so fast.read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 21 2006
I very much enjoyed Ethan's recent post about avoiding "vampire meetings" and thought I'd share a few of my own tips for getting the most out of your meetings -- primarily from the perspective of being the organizer and facilitator. For the love of God, please respect your poor colleagues' time.read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 7 2006
Merlin Mann | Feb 6 2006
Here are a few of my favorite (and the site's most popular) posts on that heated topic of email -- how to better deal with email as a recipient, and how to improve the lives of others as a better sender. Email is a subject that invigorates (and occasionally infuriates) me, so get ready for plenty more in the future. But if you're one of the seemingly innumerable people who's snowed under by email or unsure how to deal with it at a responsible level, flip through a few of these oldies, and see if any ideas jump out at you.read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 2 2006
Seriously, though, suck it up and just check for new mail as seldom as your job and your patience will possibly permit. Really push the envelope on this, even just for half a day, and see if you don't notice a difference. The world actually can spin without you for a while.read more »
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