A New Year's Approach to Email
I think that my new determination to manage my email time (instead of letting it manage me) has been a big help in keeping me focused and getting so much done. This week I allowed myself to look at email once early in the morning and to answer no more than one. I turned off the sound on my computer so I wouldn’t be aware when new emails came in, and didn’t look at email again right after breakfast (as I would have in the past) or at any time during the morning. There were other kinds of interruptions some mornings, but ignoring email till I was ready to break for lunch seemed to really help keep me focused.
One morning I also shifted around a bunch of scenes and sections because I found some errors in the sequence of events that I had to figure out how to fix. That took a while and wasn’t part of the [embedded notes] work, but it was responsible for the addition of some of the new notes. (I suspect that juggling 5 point of view characters, each in his/her own section until I’m ready to stitch them all back together, is what led to the sequencing issue, but it’s really helped me figure out some stuff, so I don’t regret the approach. I just hope I don’t find much more of that kind of thing next week!)
Checking email is like an addiction. I’ve tried in the past to ignore email till the afternoon, and just haven’t been able to do it for more than a day or two. But I’m hopeful that the rewards for my new approach this past week will help motivate me to stick with my resolve to keep it out of what should be my most productive hours for creative endeavours. Wish me luck!
And if you’ve made similar resolutions this year, good luck to you!
Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.