A couple of years ago I sat down with Jasmine Star and she expressed this burden she felt because of how many emails she was getting. She said she was running out of time in her life and was spending most of it emailing people and she didn't know how to deal with it.
I told her that I knew a solution!
JUST DON'T RESPOND! :)
She gasped. "Noooooo, I have to."
The conversation continued and we found a solution that was acceptable to her using auto-responders. I used to use auto-responders a lot and some of you may have remembered my brilliantly crafted one...
But my question is ... when someone calls or emails do you feel that you must respond or you're being rude? Do you feel that email is taking up more of your life then you want? Do you feel like you are being owned by it and being owned by others expectations of you? Other people will try and control your life and there is a very good chance that their vision for your life isn't the same as yours and probably isn't the same as God's!
So keep yourself and your priorities in check. If your purpose in life isn't being served by the amount of time you're spending emailing then cut it down. Take control.
I have a challenge for you... let all your email pile up for one day and then delete it...all of it. :) Then try it for one week... This will tell you who's in control. You or Your Inbox.
Read this reflection from Minute of Margin...it's good and it applies.
TECHNOLOGY AND ACCESSIBILITY OVERLOAD
I am dying of easy accessibility. Telephones in our homes and offices, cordless phones in our backyards and cars, beepers, fax machines, and e-mail. It’s enough to give you a stroke. If Alexander Graham Bell walked into my office, I’d punch him in the nose. If be called, you can be sure I’d put him on hold. - JAMES M. CERLETTY, M.D., MILWAUKEE PHYSICIAN
THE FUTURE ARRIVED yesterday, when the Starship Enterprise landed in our back yard. Slick gadgets are strapped to every belt, plugged into every socket, and stuck in every ear. Overhead, still more gadgets swim in the heavenlies. As telecommunications rapidly reshape the globe, we sit at the beginning of a universal connectivity unprecedented in human history. Cell phones and pagers, videophones and videoconferencing, telecommuting and fax machines, Internet and e-mail, satellites and the information superhighway. Images of futuristic excitement, to be sure. But what will be the result of this incredible flurry of seemingly unstoppable activity?
Like most modern things, it will be both good and bad—at the same time. The aspect of this development that disturbs me most is accessibility overload. A major unintended consequence of the flood of accessing technologies is that soon there will be no natural excuse for being unavailable. In the midst of our enthusiasm for the telecommunications revolution, we have not sufficiently discerned the horrifying psychic cost of what columnist William Safire calls unrestrained reachability. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. Some of my best friends are people. But I also like my privacy from time to time. “Where were you all day?” your boss or client or bridge partner will say. “I tried to call you five times!” And because virtually everyone will carry tiny cell phones/pagers, you will have no excuse. “I turned off my pager phone.” “You what?!” What will this be like for exhausted pastors who are vacationing five states away and one of their parishioners is hospitalized ? Do we disturb them? Most of us wouldn’t—but some would. What if parishioners die? Do we interrupt pastors’ much-needed vacations by requesting they return for the funeral? When speaking in Toronto recently I found two pastors who had encountered this situation in the previous year. One returned home to do the funeral; the other didn’t. The first disappointed his family and lost an important vacation. The second disappointed his church family and lost an important ministry opportunity.
RX - Because of progress and technology, universal accessibility is inevitable. Etiquette guidelines will not always be easy to apply. Yet somehow, unrestrained reachability must be controlled for the sake of our margin, our family, our devotion, our sanity, and our rest. Be discerning of all accessing technologies, Use them judiciously. Consider deactivating the answering machine if necessary. If you find it overwhelming to come home to eight messages, turn it off. If the calls are important, the callers will try again.
You must keep quiet or say only things that improve silence. - GREEK PROVERB