I have advocated many times that we take back our workdays and private lives by resisting the interruptions of email. Using a Blackberry is tantamount to making a statement that you’d rather be interrupted than do some quality work.
Roman Rytov alerted me to Dave Lorenzo‘s story about how he ditched his Blackberry and suddenly found that he was getting more quality work done!
Some gems from Dave’s post:
My productivity was off the charts high yesterday. I completed a project that I have been trying to finish for a couple of weeks.
The day flew by as I was truly absorbed in work for the first time in a long time. It was great not to have that little window pop up with an e-mail every thirty seconds. I think I may be able to cut back to checking e-mail less frequently.
Who the hell did I think I was? The world did not stop because I didn’t reply to people in thirty seconds or less. I’m not so important that people need my insight in real time. Responding a couple of hours later is just fine.
In a follow-up post, Dave goes on to describe how he now needs to train people not to expect a reply immediately.
My opinion is that the most important messages warrant a response within the same business day, and the rest within 24 hours. If an issue is more urgent than this, then email is not the most suitable medium — use the phone instead.