Response to Darren Barefoot's question about declining email response rates

Darren Barefoot asked, “Does the Blackberry Reduce Email Response?” and I would have to make two comments:

  • Structure ALWAYS drives behaviour: The computer is easier and faster. The Blackberry is clumsy at best. Therefore for any given 10 emails received on one or the other, it can be assumed that there would be a tendency towards fewer and/or shorter messages.
  • The other much bigger issue for me is that i’m noticing that my email response time has dropped from 1 day to about 1 month (!) as my workload has increased and as my ability to focus on the task at hand (and ignore everything else on the 500 item to-do list) has increased.
  • I don’t even READ much of my inbound email anymore (I can see the first line of it in Gmail, why open it?) Or I flag it and get around to cleaning those up WAY too late. I have had it with letting my email flows dictate how much time I spend at the computer so have pretty much just decided to read/act on only the top 10% of my mail
  • Too many projects x switching cost of moving my attention from Project 1 to Project 2 = lots of wasted time over a day switching from one to the other. So now I let mail on various subjects “pile up” until I have time to work on Project X and then I go and find all of my marked/unread Project X mail and process it then.

I would love to hear from my readers: How has your email behaviour changed over the past year?