JAN: This is how sick I am. These statistics about email comforted me. At least at first. They come from a 2010 AOL survey, which I discovered through PSYBLOG - which is my favorite blog.
1) .59 per cent of recipients say they check email from the bathroom.
Yes, their bathroom. Just for the record, I have NEVER checked email from my bathroom. I think it's probably only the hygiene thing holding me back.
The reason email is so addictive, according to Psyblog is "variable-interval reinforcement" which is a complicated way of saying --even though most email we receive runs from boring to downright irritating, we get enough sporadic "exciting" emails to make us keep checking. We're hoping for that high moment.
2) 47% claim to be hooked on it, 25% of people can't go without email for more than 3 days, and 60% check email on vacation.
Guilty as charged. Always on vacation. Even in France when I had to spend money at an Internet Cafe. And really, is there anyone with email who goes three days without checking it?
3) You check email even more than you THINK you check email. Participants in a study by Renaud et al. (2006) claimed to check their email, on average, once an hour. However when the researchers spied on them, it turned out they checked their email every five minutes.
4.) Email eats a quarter of the working day
In a 2004 diary study (Czerwinski et al) of people in various different occupations. researchers found that, on average, people spent 23% of their working day dealing with email.
Okay, now I'm not so comforted. Now I'm realizing how much time I waste.
5.) It takes 64 seconds to recover your train of thought after an email interruption.
So in other words, all the time I spend meditating and doing yoga to enhance creativity, is blown once I start checking my email.
My solution, of course, is to Write First. Because once I start checking email, I fall into all the bad habits mentioned above.
So come on everyone, confess. Do we have any bathroom email checkers here?? Any five minute interval checkers?? Or do you now feel so much better about your email addiction because everyone else is worse??