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a day without email

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Hell no, how about a week without it? Right now I have about ten or more messages languishing deep in the inbox and this after responding to mail at least twice a day. Similarly with postal mail: letters from my accountant and lawyer, both needing careful reading; a questionnaire for my ‘wealth manager’; letters from family members and an old friend overseas; plus a brochure to design, two blogs to maintain, a proposal for a home hospice to write, a literature search to pursue, and a manuscript to fine-tune, bla bla bla … STOP IT ALREADY !!!

Several corporations have initiated no-email fridays to slow the avalanche of two million mails sent every second worldwide. Someone in our sitting group has no email address at all and another hasn’t bought a new computer after the old one melted. Both appear healthy and competent! And I don’t even have a ‘personal communication device’, not even a cell phone.

How do you keep from going insane? All suggestions/stories welcome. Please help.

p.s. Isn’t it wonderful how things get unblocked when we pay attention to them. I’ve already responded to 7 aging emails this morning, all in a space of 35 minutes. Three more by mid-afternoon — hmmm!


3 responses »

  1. I find cultivating a belief that the best I can do is good enough, as long as I keep my priorities straight.
    I also like the belief “I can do anything I want. I just can’t do everything I want….” works pretty well too.
    It’s good to be in touch with others. But being constantly at the beck and call of the world means you have no time to do your own stuff. Or to sit in silence and listen to your own voice and the voice of God or Spirit….
    I call screen, and don’t talk to folks I don’t want top talk to (like telemarketers). I only pick up if I feel I can give the person the full attention they deserve, and if I can’t, I call back when I can. I don’t break my neck runnong up the stairs to get the phone. Unless I’m awaiting an urgent call, I don’t put my current call on hold to check the beep(to see if it’s someone better). I use my cell for emergencies only, and I don’t leave it on in restaurants, theatres and other such situations.
    I pratice being present, instead of being pulled in all directions…

  2. I do pretty much the same as Catherine above. But do find email quite demanding of time and energy! There’s been a programme on tv here in Britain called The Big Silence – a Benedictine monk attempts to teach 5 people from all walks of life the value of silence, in an 8 day silent retreat. A very interesting programme – I was particularly struck by one (young) person’s struggle to cope without her mobile phone, twitter, facebook etc. She described feelings of deep anxiety, even panic at not being in constant communication with people. It is a growing and worrying dis-ease in our culture. Happily, she found the strength to stay with the retreat and is gaining a great deal from it in the end. 🙂 I don’t know if people outside of Britain can access the BBC website to watch on i-player? But if so, here’s the link –

  3. Balance it all….take time for self care, time for loved ones, and time for socializing (most of email). I am on email every day (almost), on facebook every few days and on Twitter rarely. I can see how it would be crazy-making to try to keep up! I am also in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program so I priorize what I need to do for that.


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