As I get ready to face the coming work week, and the inevitable crush of email notes, calendar scheduling and round-robin electronic Q&A, I’m thinking that the suggestion of “email-free Fridays,” as described in this USA Today report about email overload (link via AdPulp), looks pretty good.
Today about 150 engineers at chipmaker Intel (INTC) will kick off “Zero E-mail Fridays.” E-mail isn’t forbidden, but everyone is encouraged to phone or meet face-to-face. The goal is more direct, free-flowing communication and better exchange of ideas, Intel principal engineer Nathan Zeldes says in a company blog post.
E-mail-free Fridays already are the norm at cell carrier U.S. Cellular (UZG) and at order-processing company PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services in Alpharetta, Ga.
I’ve been trying to fight email bloat by keeping the inbox closed for most of the day and checking email just twice a day, as suggested by The low-information diet (PDF). But it doesn’t always work out. It’s too easy to slip into the old habit of leaving Outlook open and checking for messages every 10 minutes or so.
How do you fight the email monster? Do any of you have a campuswide or departmental policy to shut down email from time to time? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s working.